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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: On day 3, MerleFest opts for tradition – The biggest day of the MerleFest weekend is always Saturday. There was still plenty of "Plus" to go around, but the highlights of this year's big day focused on the more traditional side of the festival's "Traditional Plus" lineup from headliners Dave Rawlings Machine down to the regional acts on the smaller stages.... »»»
Concert Review: MerleFest showcases diversity on day two – Although primarily thought of as a "roots music" festival, the artists at MerleFest can and do come from a variety of genres and locales. On the first full day of this year's festival, that point was underscored with performances from not just bluegrass and string bands, but also rock 'n' roll, soul and international acts... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Reams leaps into "Rhyme & Season" James Reams is one of bluegrass music's unconventional stalwarts. A son of Kentucky, Reams' journey has taken any number of unusual pathways since the mid-seventies. Producing albums for more than 20 years, Reams' ninth release of personable bluegrass, "Rhyme and Season," is a relaunch for Reams, an artist who has never followed a singular route. ... »»»
Solivan  turns to family, friends, heroes After scoring a 2015 IBMA nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for "Cold Spell," Frank Solivan tried something a little different this time around - an album of songs recorded by "Family, Friends and Heroes" (Compass). In an earlier musical life, Solivan served as stalwart in Country Current, the Navy's touring bluegrass band. Solivan left the service and formed Dirty Kitchen, a hat-tip to his background and continuing efforts as a chef.... »»»
Sellers garages her country Aubrie Sellers just may be onto something on her debut - garage country. After all, we've already witnessed traditional country, new country, neo-traditional, country rock, pop country and bro country. Sellers, a 25-year-old Nashvillian with a big time musical pedigree who released her debut, "New City Blues," in January, said the moniker came to mind as her bio was being written.... »»»
Del and Woody CD review - Del and Woody
For two years we've been hearing of this recording, a project where original lyrics from Woody Guthrie were to be reinvented as bluegrass songs by the legendary Del McCoury. Like previous sets from Billy Bragg & Wilco (3 volumes of "Mermaid Avenue" released between 1998-2012), Jay Farrar, et al ("New Multitudes," 2012) and The Klezmatics (a pair of 2006 releases), lyrics stored within the Woody Guthrie Archives were turned over to McCoury to be repurposed. »»»
Empty Glasses CD review - Empty Glasses
Coming on the heels of her last album, the tellingly titled "Quicksand," Reagan Boggs' latest continues to affirm her reputation as a master of emotion, a performer whose sound and delivery leave no sentiment unturned. Consequently, "Empty Glasses" becomes an equally expressive handle, given that much of the album bears a deliberately downcast disposition. That can also be discerned by reading the names of certain songs -- "Honey I'm Lost"...  »»»
Lovers and Leavers CD review - Lovers and Leavers
A style and sound can be deceptive. So it's little surprise that with his parched vocals, weary demeanor and songs that bear a sense of worn, ragged reflection, Hayes Carll doesn't come across like a man with an ample list of accomplishments. A recent Grammy nomination, a number of chart triumphs and some highly impressive accolades from the public and pundits alike suggest that Carll might be doing far better than he lets on. »»»