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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: The Strumbellas master its formula – The Strumbellas' formula is a simple one - write an anthemic sounding sing-a-long with a catchy chorus, which you can repeat ad nauseum to greater and greater effect. That may sound like a quick and easy checklist, but the Canadian (well except for one lone American) band has mastered the formula quite well. In a sold-out concert, it translated... »»»
Concert Review: Josh Abbott Band supplies antidote – Shortly after the Josh Abbott Band finished its open song, "The Night is Ours," band leader Abbott proclaimed, "That's our theme song this year." Presumably Abbott was referring to the playing music and having a good time because if he was referring to the lines "Life is good, love is great/Friends are there, and the... »»»
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