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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 CD review - 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 CD review - 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 CD review - 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: Church grows with time – It's heartening to see the continual rise of Eric Church's career, as he is one of the best songwriters in contemporary mainstream country music. Church mentioned from the stage how he performed for - in his estimation - only six loyal fans at The Whiskey for his first tour trip through Las Angeles a decade ago. His headlining stop last time... »»»
Concert Review: Brooks fires it up – Garth Brooks may have stood outside of country music by and large for 17 years, but he is jumping back in with both feet and more. Brooks released "Man Against Machine" in November, his first disc of original music in 13 years. Last fall, he launched a world tour, which is rolling out with multiple dates in multiple cities, sometimes... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Brooks takes the long road Garth Brooks was country radio for years. But a lot has changed since Brooks went silent in 2001. Country has shifted even further away from its roots with rock and hip hop part of the landscape. As for Brooks, he retired to spend time raising his three daughters, far away from the bright Nashville lights in Oklahoma. Yes, he did a residency in Las Vegas, but he went 12 years in between new material before releasing "Man Against Machine" in November. ... »»»
Brown becomes "In Style Again" Surely there is some irony in the title of Jim Ed Brown's new album - "In Style Again." At least it's a little ironic for his fans, for as far as they're concerned neither Brown nor his music have been out of style. His strong, mellow voice flows like liquid gold over and around any song he chooses to sing.... »»»
The "Beauty" of Price continues Before Ray Price died - just over one year ago, on Dec. 16, 2013 - he told his wife, Janie, that she would have to carry on his legacy by going out, promoting the album that he had just recorded, "Beauty Is...," and visiting with his legions of fans. He told me, Janie says, "you're gonna be the closest thing to me that people are going to want to reach out to."... »»»
Fear & Saturday Night CD review - Fear & Saturday Night
Ryan Bingham's roughened voice gives added authenticity to the cowboy ballad "Island in the Sky" off his new "Saturday Night album." The project's title, "Saturday Night," suggests party music, but the accordion-colored "Adventures of You and Me" is one of only a few party anthems on this album. Even so, Bingham sure sounds happy singing to its Tex-Mex accordion groove.  »»»
Man of Constant Sorrow (2015) CD review - Man of Constant Sorrow (2015)

Dr. Ralph Stanley can't sit still; he tried to retire in 2013 and even went out on a farewell tour, but the three-time Grammy winner just wasn't ready to say farewell, yet. Making music for well over half a century, Stanley has been re-shaping music his entire career, riding firmly in the path of bluegrass tradition while helping shape that tradition with his iconic high lonesome sound. »»»

Absent Fathers CD review - Absent Fathers
Fans of the early Justin Townes Earle might be disappointed in the work that fills "Absent Fathers," his 2015 album that shows the once reckless outlaw-wannabe has grown up past the anger and found a home in therapeutic songwriting. For the rest of listeners, however, it's a cathartic and thought-provoking journey through his atonement, not with his muddy past, but instead with his own pain. »»»
Before the Sun Goes Down CD review - Before the Sun Goes Down
The first great album of 2015 has arrived, and it comes from a duo comprising a bluegrass master and an up-and-coming county vocalist. Dobro innovator Rob Ickes - 15 time IBMA Dobro Player of the Year and mainstay in Blue Highway, one of bluegrass music's venerable outfits - has paired his talents with the powerful voice of Trey Hensley, a relative unknown commodity »»»