Ricky Skaggs, Gaudreau & Klein, Justin Townes Earle offer new music
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
– Bluegrass releases and a new CD from the son of a well-known singer top this week's releases.
Ricky Skaggs goes the tribute route on "Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass: Tribute to 1946 and 1947" (Skaggs Family) by honoring the likes of Flatt & Scruggs, Chubby Wise and Howard Watts, who were members of all part of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys. Earl Scruggs, the only living Blue Grass Boy from that period, plays on the disc along with Del McCoury.
Bluegrassers Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Klein got together in England last year for a few concert dates, and that turned into recording sessions and their debut disc, "3:10 Train" (Rebel). Gaudreau, who plays mandolin, also is with John Starling and Carolina Star, the Country Gentlemen Reunion Band and songwriters Robin & Linda Williams. Klein is the former lead singer of Chesapeake.
A compilation disc, "Best Loved Bluegrass: 20 All-Time Favorites" (Rebel) drops today as well.
Justin Townes Earle sings of "The Good Life" (Bloodshot). The last name may be familiar with good reason. Justin is the son of Steve. After spending time in bluegrass/ragtime combo The Swindlers and the louder, more rocking The Distributors, the 25-year-old Earle focused more on songcraft. With inspirations as diverse as Townes Van Zandt (he was named in honor of the elder Earle's hero), The Replacements, Ray Charles and The Pogues, Earle forged his own brand of American roots music. He previously self-released and EP, "Yuma."
More news for Ricky Skaggs
CD reviews for Ricky Skaggs
Music To My Ears
Ricky Skaggs celebrated his 50th anniversary of playing music with his last album, which featured bluegrass versions of hits from his country music career. At this point, Skaggs is solidly entrenched in the bluegrass side of things, and if one counts his time with Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys, he has probably played bluegrass longer than he did country, making this latest disc true to its title when it comes to Skaggs' fans.
Traditional bluegrass played in a flawless »»»
A Skaggs Famly Christmas Volume Two
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 »»»
Country Hits, Bluegrass Style
The musical journey of Ricky Skaggs has been a long one, from his younger days in Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys to chart-topping success in country music during the 1980's and back to the bluegrass world on his own family-run label. That relative autonomy has allowed Skaggs to explore various themes such as gospel music and now a return of sorts to his country material.
The concept here is pretty simple, and it's spelled out in the album title; all of the songs here were »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Girls with Guitars show voices
With the official departure of Taylor Swift from the genre, country music is eager to find replacement star power. Pittsburgh's annual Girls with Guitars show is proving to be a nebula. This year's crop of artists featured former "The Voice" contestants (one winner), a television star and some local flair.
Texas cutie... »»»
Concert Review: Washburn, Fleck give reasons to be happy
"I sing because I'm happy," sang Abigail Washburn toward the end of her show with fellow banjo picker (not to mention, husband) Bela Fleck in the closing number of the night "His Eye is on the Sparrow."
Washburn had a lot of reason to be on this night in a beautiful setting at Harvard University. The two held court over two... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
John Fullbright didn' grow up around musicians or like-minded songwriters in his little hometown of Bearden, Okla. You'd never know it, though, from his raw, stark, pure and honest songwriting that's drawn comparisons to Townes Van Zandt. His debut album, "From the Ground Up," was nominated for a 2013 Grammy as the Best Americana Album, catapulting him into the company of Bonnie Raitt, Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers and The Avett Brothers.... »»»
Jake Brown can't stop writing about music. Over the past 10 years, he's published 35 books, ranging from "Rick Rubin: In the Studio" and "Suge Knight: The Rise, Fall and Rise of Death Row Records" to "Heart: In the Studio." In 2012, he won the Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards in the category of Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.... »»»
Perhaps there are few more beloved names in the world of country and bluegrass music than Ricky Skaggs and his wife Sharon of the country music family act The Whites. The two have been close friends since their teenage years through music, first meeting at a festival where White was performing with her father Buck White and sister Cheryl, and Skaggs was playing with Keith Whitley.... »»»
While No One Was Watching: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records
It's a magnanimous record company indeed that celebrates its own 20th anniversary by inviting artists from other labels to join in the festivities. Then again, this is Chicago's Bloodshot Records after all, the insurgent outfit out of Chicago that's made its mark by booting tradition up the backside. Consequently, the 2-disc, 38-song set "While No One Was Watching: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records" puts a new spin on the usual catalogue compilation... »»»
Man Against Machine
After releasing his debut album in 1989, Garth Brooks released music almost every year until he announced his retirement in 2000. Since then, he has released repackaged hit collections, new music on "Scarecrow" and "The Lost Sessions" and last year's cover song collection "Blame it All on My Roots." Over the years, there have been live recordings, concert and music video collections. The country songwriter became a pop culture icon... »»»
A JOHNNYSWIM Christmas
With a seven-song EP, the singer-songwriter duo, Johnnyswim, comprised of Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez, proves how sometimes the best things really do come in small packages. The project opens with an acoustic, acoustic guitar-colored original called "Christmas Day," which gently lists quite a number of good things about Christmas day. Most of this album is secular, lyrically, with an exception with the devout "O Come All Ye Faithful." »»»