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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: Ex-Brooklyn girl MIchaela Anne makes good – Brooklyn may not exactly have been enough of a hotbed of country music for Michaela Anne. Thus, about 1- years ago, she packed up her belongings with her husband (and drummer) Aaron Shafer-Haiss and headed for Nashville. Except, they headed to East Nashville more precisely where the rep is that the cooler country cats are hanging.... »»»
Concert Review: Hard Working Americans more than live up to moniker – Hard Working Americans is a generic enough sounding term, conveying that you're part of the lunch bucket crowd. Part of a faceless pack instead of an individual. In reality, it's something of a misnomer for the sextet of the same name heretofore considered a side project. That's because they or in most cases, their other... »»»
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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. ... »»»
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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.... »»»
Black CD review - Black
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If I'm Honest CD review - If I'm Honest
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Couchville Sessions CD review - Couchville Sessions
For those who remain unaware of Darrell Scott, "The Couchville Sessions" is an ideal starting place. Long one of "rock, folk, country (and) blues" (to misquote the lead track, "Down to the River") most esteemed sidemen (Robert Plant's Band of Joy, Guy Clark, Steve Earle), collaborators (Tim O'Brien) and songwriters ("Long Time Gone," "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive"), Scott has been making outstanding Americana albums... »»»
Playing With Fire CD review - Playing With Fire
If you happened to hear Jennifer Nettles' debut solo record, "That Girl," you may have come away thinking that she was a frustrated torch singer. That effort was chock full of emotive ballads, which, while heartfelt, sure was missing a certain element of F-U-N. Problem solved. From the opening sustain of gospel organ, Nettles storms out of the gate in a sensational tour-de-force.  »»»