A Skaggs Family Christmas Vol. 2

“Christmas Time’s A-Coming”
“Light of the Stable”
“The First Noel”
“What Songs Were Sung”
“Silent Night”
“Flight to Egypt”
“Reunion Song”
“Children Go”
“Oh Come, Oh Come, Emanuel”
“Joy to the World”

Ricky Skaggs is an amazing musician, as well as a good man. My first recollection of him was when I was 12 years old. My dad encouraged me to approach Skaggs at the Berkshire Mountains Bluegrass Festival in 1976. He took me backstage himself and I was able to have everyone autograph the booklet that the festival put out that year. This meant the world to me and showed me that professional bluegrass musicians can be friendly and approachable, real folks. Skaggs was playing with Boone Creek that year, but I had known of his music from when he had played with Ralph Stanley and Keith Whitley. I was obsessed with an album that came out called Second Generation Bluegrass that he recorded with Keith Whitley. I especially enjoyed “Daybreak in Dixie,” and “Son of Hobert,” on that album. I learned, years later, that Ricky Skaggs was the son of Hobert Skaggs. I really studied “Daybreak in Dixie” as a 12 year old, learning the tune and the mandolin part in time. I am very impressed with Ricky Skaggs for his musicianship, professionalism, and his humanity, a great man. He gained my respect and admiration immediately.

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“Christmas Time’s A-Comin'”

This is a Christmas music album, not particularly a bluegrass or country music CD and is a family affair, including the Skaggs children, as well as The Whites (which is comprised of Skaggs’ wife, Sharon White, her sister Cheryl and their dad, Buck). The cuts are all excellent. I especially enjoyed “Christmas Time’s A-Coming,” a tune written by Tex Logan, a well known Texas style fiddler, who was playing fiddle for Bill Monroe in the 1950’s. Buck White’s mandolin playing is superb on “Light of the Stable,” a great song. “Reunion Song” is very good, reminding me of Skaggs’ country music days of the mid-1980’s. “Children Go” is outstanding and I never tire of hearing this tune that has been covered by many great bluegrass bands, no matter the time of year. “Joy to the World” is an instrumental piece by the Nashville Strings Orchestra. I would have preferred to hear singing on this track. The entire project is excellent when it comes to Christmas music. Enjoy the holiday season with this CD by the Skaggs Family; I will be doing so this Christmas season.

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