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Ricky Skaggs

A Skaggs Famly Christmas Volume Two – 2011 (Skaggs Family)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Ricky Skaggs

This second set of Skaggs Family Records Christmas songs primarily takes a traditionalist approach to celebrating the season. This is to be expected, as Ricky Skaggs' label has always remained committed to making and releasing music that might make Bill Monroe - Skaggs' onetime employer - proud.

There is an even balance between new and old Christmas songs represented on this collection. There's the pretty new ballad What Songs Were Sung, which wonders out loud the tunes performed "When Mary birthed her own sweet son." Molly Skaggs sings it, with nothing more than piano and percussion accompaniment. This release's version of The First Noel has even less instrumentation - none, to be exact. It has Ricky Skaggs, Sharon White and Cheryl White harmonizing beautifully together. In contrast, Silent Night sports a choir-like gang of singers, along with the Nashville Strings. These widely varying song arrangements are reminders that there are endless ways to celebrate Christmas musically. Flight To Egypt is a new Luke Skaggs instrumental. It once again features the Nashville Strings, but also includes some funky bluegrass improvisation. Another relatively new song is titled Reunion Song, and this one focuses the beauty of family gatherings during the holidays.

With the multiple Skaggs family members scattered throughout this CD's credits, Ricky Skaggs also practices what he preaches.