Country Hits Bluegrass Style

[Skaggs Family]

In the 1980s, Ricky Skaggs ruled the country music roost, scoring 19 Top 10 hits—a whopping 11 of them chart-toppers—as the masses fleetingly embraced country traditionalism. Once radio lost interest, the man who had earned his stripes as a youth playing behind legends like Ralph Stanley returned to his native bluegrass and has remained there ever since. Now the Kentucky native and mandolin maestro revisits some of his best-known country hits—although truthfully, if you loved them the first time around, you won’t notice a huge difference. There’s fewer electric guitars, a little less pedal steel, and a few tunes (like Jim Rushing’s “Cajun Moon” and Bill Monroe’s classic “Uncle Pen”) are a smidgeon slower than the originals. But Skaggs and his pals—including guitarist Cody Kilby and fiddler Andy Leftwich—are still monster players who deliver the goods, no matter what song or style they’re taking on. –Nick Krewen

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