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Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder

Bluegrass Rules – 1997 (Rounder)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder

"Bluegrass Rules" is straight-ahead bluegrass from Ricky Skaggs and a masterpiece in every way. Two of Bill Monroe's vintage instrumentals, "Rawhide," and "Get Up John," are covered superbly. He pays homage to the Stanley Brothers with their classics, "Rank Strangers," "Think of What You've Done" and "Little Maggie."

Vocally, Skaggs sounds as good as ever. Paul Brewster adds some great harmony. Band members Bobby Hicks on fiddle, Bryan Sutton on guitar and Marc Pruett on banjo are all top-notch and make impressive contributions. Skaggs hit the jackpot here: two great albums that ought to re-establish him as a force in today's country music.