There are few musicians in the history of bluegrass music whose abilities and experience can be compared to those of Ricky Skaggs. A 2018 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Skaggs earned his first paycheck at age seven playing on Flatt & Scruggs’ syndicated television program. Skaggs joined Ralph Stanley’s Band in 1971 with his friend Keith Whitley, was part of the seminal self-titled bluegrass album by J.D. Crowe & The New South in 1975 (their debut), led Boone Creek and played in Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band, all while still in his twenties.
The return of the Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder follows their show at SMF’s 25th anniversary season in 2014. The eight-time Grammy Award-winning band includes Paul Brewster (tenor vocals, rhythm guitar), Russ Carson (banjo), Jake Workman (lead guitar), Mike Barnett (fiddle), Dennis Parker (baritone vocals, guitar) and Jeff Picker (bass, bass vocals). Says Skaggs: “Each and every one of the pickers in Kentucky Thunder totally amazes me in every show… and that, to me, outweighs any award we could ever win.”
“There might not be a better set of players in the bluegrass world right now.”