Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
with Sharon White Skaggs
Germantown (TN) Performing Arts Centre
January 29, 2015
If you think that thunder is loud, then you know a bit about what the band Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder sounds like! They come on like a house a'fire and play some of the finest, the most solid traditional bluegrass we have heard in many a  day in this region. Throughout the show, Ricky also shared many stories about himself and Bill Monroe, his family back in Kentucky, and life in general.
On January 29, 2015, the long-awaited concert began at the beautiful Germantown (TN) Performing Arts Centre on Exeter Road in Germantown. Ardent bluegrass music fans are so delighted that GPAC is booking well-known bluegrass music groups. The room was packed with bluegrass music fans who had waited a long time to hear their perennial favorite, Ricky Skaggs, his band Kentucky Thunder, and Ricky's special guest, his wife Sharon White Skaggs, from the fine bluegrass band known as The Whites.
Kentucky Thunder consists of the following superb musicians: Ricky Skaggs (mandolin, vocals), Paul Brewster (rhythm guitar, vocals), Andy Leftwich (fiddle), Cody Kilby (lead guitar), Eddie Faris (guitar, baritone vocals), Scott Mulvahill (upright bass, bass vocals), and Russ Carson (banjo). Sharon White Skaggs plays a very important role in the band. With her husband and singing partner for 33 years and counting, she adds a gentle touch with her vocal harmony and guitar work. This writer has followed Ricky Skaggs' career and that of The Whites (Buck, Sharon, Cheryl, and even Rosie a few years ago) for most of those 33 years. It has been a joy and a treat since the first time I heard them.
Kentucky Thunder
Eddie Faris, Russ Carson, Scott Mulvahill, Paul Brewster, Andy Leftwich

Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, along with Sharon White Skaggs, treated their audience to the following bluegrass standards and newer songs: How Mountain Girls Can Love; Amanda Jewel (named for Ricky Skaggs' older daughter); Your Selfish Heart Broke Up Our Home; Pig in a Pen; Toy Heart; Sittin' Alone in the Moonlight (Skaggs referred to as 'deep catalog'); Hold Whatcha Got; (enter Sharon to sing with Ricky and the band) Love Can't Ever Get Better Than This (co-writers Nancy Montgomery and Irene Kelley); When I'm Good and Gone; There's No Doubt About It Honey I'm in Love with You; Scott Mulvahill's version of 20/20 Vision (and I'm walkin' 'round blind); Cody Kilby's Welcome to China; Ricky's You Can't Hurt Ham; Ricky's tribute to Doc Watson in the Jimmy Driftwood song, Tennessee Stud; You Can't Shake Jesus; Highway 40 Blues (Not the Highway 40 you think!); Uncle Pen; Encore #1 Ricky and Sharon on If I Needed You; and Encore #2 Monroe's giant hit, Rawhide! Whew! What a night!

Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White Skaggs seen here with the author of this blog at the autograph table signing albums and copies of Ricky Skaggs' new book, Kentucky Traveler: My Life in Music: Ricky Skaggs. Pick up a copy at Amazon or from your bookstore. Also look for Ricky and Sharon's newest album of songs about their special marriage and relationship, Hearts Like Ours.
For more information:
Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
Germantown Performing Arts Centre
1801 Exeter Road
Germantown, TN 38138
Phone 901.751.7500
Pick away!

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