Anyone who has been a Ricky Skaggs fan for as long as I have has to know that this isn’t going to be an easy article to write. How much can you say about Ricky Skaggs. He’s country, he’s bluegrass, he has CMA awards, ACM awards, GRAMMY awards, International Bluegrass Music Association awards, he’s a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Bluegrass Hall of Fame member. I know that isn’t all, but now, add this to his huge list of accomplishments, honors and awards — We had the good fortune of having Ricky in concert at our fair in Gray, Tenn., on Thursday night (Aug. 23). I’m still on cloud nine. It was a wonderful show, full of great music, funny stories, and some of the best memories as Ricky talked to his audience.
It’s one thing to be listening to all this great music on records, cassettes, CD’s, and the radio. But, to have him live on stage is an experience you won’t soon forget. While Ricky stood on that stage bringing back memories from his career, he was helping the audience members make new memories.
We heard “How Mountain Girls Can Love”, “Appalachian Joy”, “Uncle Pen”, “Carolina In My Mind”, “You Can’t Shake Jesus”, “A Simple Life”, “Bluegrass Breakdown”, “Tennessee Stud”, “Pig in a Pen” and “Down in the Valley to Pray”. And, that is just a few of the songs we heard during this show that you thought would never end, and you hoped that thought was right!
Ricky’s band members were a very important part of his show. Not just playing with him, but some even got to do a song on their own, and they were great, too. We got so much entertainment packed into that 90-minute show. Those band members were Michael Barnett, fiddle; Clay Hess, guitar (he was fillign in that night); Jeff Picker, upright bass; Dennis Parker, guitar; Paul Brewster, guitar/vocal; and Jake Workman, banjo.
I really need to thank Ricky for going out of his way for his fans. He is the only artist this week who took the time to sign autographs and pose for pictures with as many fans as wanted to take advantage of that opportunity. Like LANCO, Ricky also took part in an on-air interview with WXBQ’s Marc Tragler. He spent a lot of time after the show with one fan who came with cases of memorabilia which included photo albums from fan club parties 30 yeras ago, 20 or more vinyls, and many, many memories she wanted to share with Ricky.
There was an opening act on Thursday, Carson Peters (who some of you may remember from appearances on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, and Little Big Shots, is a local fiddle player. He’s just 14 years old, and we will be getting an article posted about his show soon. But, I wanted to mention that because Carson (who performed with Ricky on the Opry stage) came out and joined Ricky on stage for “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and “Wheel Hoss”.
Now it’s time to close thi sout with more photos from Thursday night’s show. I hope all of Ricky’s fans who haven’t seen him on stage, or who haven’t seen him in a while, will find a show near you and get there. I just saw him two days ago, and I’m ready to go again. Keep up with all the latest news about Ricky on his website and Facebook page, and you can follow him on Twitter @RickySkaggs. If you aren’t already following Country’s Chatter on Twitter, we hope you will. You will find us @countryschatter.
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