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Skaggs meshes grass, country; Dirt Drifters debut

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 – Ricky Skaggs crosses the bluegrass and country divide again with "Country Hits, Bluegrass Style." (Skaggs Family Records) Skaggs rerecords his old country songs and gives them a bluegrass twist. Among the songs are Heartbroke, Honey, You've Got a Lover, Cajun Moon, Crying My Heart Out Over You and Highway 40 Blues.

The Dirt Drifters went the digital route with their debut disc, "This is Blood." The band is lead singer/guitarist Matt Fleener, vocalist/guitarist Ryan Fleener, vocalist/guitarist Jeff Middleton, bassist Jeremy Little and drummer Nick Diamond. Their debut single, Something Better, was released in February.

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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: For The Travlin' McCourys, Jeff Austin Band, the sum adds up – The concert was a homecoming of sorts for Ronnie and Rob McCoury, two of the mainstays of The Travelin' McCourys. After all, their father was born in the general area as were they. So, while perhaps coming home could have been the motivator, one got the distinct sense that that was just another night of "work" for the band, which... »»»
Concert Review: Wishing for more McKenna – Telling friends you just saw a Lori McKenna concert usually draws immediate blank stares. That is until you mention some of the more famous songs she's helped write for stars like Little Big Town and Tim McGraw. What your friends may not realize, though, is there are more great songs where those hits came from. McKenna's set list included a... »»»
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The Devil Makes Three examine salvation, sin For nearly a decade and a half, The Devil Makes Three has concocted an amazing blend of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, rockabilly and whatever happens to bubble to the surface, and applied it liberally to their songwriting ethic. The result has been an incendiary cross-pollination of old time authenticity and contemporary invention... »»»
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White Christmas Blue CD review - White Christmas Blue
There are some "country" stars that can't seem to make true country music. Then there are artists like Loretta Lynn that can't not create pure country music. Lynn's "White Christmas Blue" album may feel like a Christmas miracle to many traditional country fans.  »»»
For Better, Or Worse CD review - For Better, Or Worse
With "For Better or Worse," John Prine follows up his "In Spite of Ourselves" album with more male/female duets. And this one is a true A-list effort, as it finds Prine trading lines with the likes of Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves and Alison Krauss. Once again, though, Iris DeMent steals the show with the angry and sarcastic "Who's Gonna Take the Garbage Out," the same way she did with the prior album's title cut. »»»
Blue Mountain CD review - Blue Mountain
Bob Weir's "Blue Mountain" opens with a song titled "Only a River," which borrows liberally from the old folk song "Shenandoah." In fact, much of this album, which Weir wrote with producer Josh Kaufman and singer Josh Ritter takes its inspiration from timelessly meditative Americana folk songs. The aforementioned album opener's lyric finds Weir repeating the line, "Only a river gonna make things right." »»»