2018, 'The Year of Ricky Skaggs'!
You may or may not be a Ricky Skaggs fan (i myself a huge one), but if you've had your ears pricked at all in Music news then you will have heard the waves Ricky has made this year. He was announced as the new Inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame with the likes of Roy Acuff and Patsy Cline. He opened the final night of CMA Festival 2018 and as of last week, the newest member to be inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame!
There is no denying that Ricky is finally getting the recognition he so greatly deserves. So what makes Ricky Skaggs such an incredible stand out, classic and fan favorite?
Last week i attended a sell out show at The Ryman Auditorium in the heart of Downtown Nashville. One of the most prestigious venues an Artist could perform at in the world. A stage that has seen the likes of Elvis Presley, Johny Cash and Neal Diamond take center stage. Also, the original birthplace of the The Grand Ole Opry. Ricky and his Band 'The Kentucky Thunder' closed the Springer Mountain Farms Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman.
It'd be impossible to not recognize Ricky's musical talents, his achievements, his career longevity or his incredible voice. But this is what i experienced on that balmy summers night in the Ryman and this is why i truly think Ricky Skaggs is one of a kind.
While i was standing in the ticket line, i overheard the Grandfather and Granddaughter in front of me having a humorous discussion. It was her first time to The Ryman and her first time to see Ricky Skaggs. The Grandfather was doing some hardcore music 'schooling' (which i am totally on board with). He laughs and tells his her "If you don't know who Minnie Pearl is then theres something wrong with ya". I laughed in agreement and told her she had a great role model right there. I remember thinking to myself 'This is that crowd, the Minnie Pearl, Little Jimmy Dickens crowd' I knew it was going to be a fantastic night!
He opens the show with gratitude to all the guests who helped sell the venue out. He gives note to his band The Kentucky Thunder and doesn't put himself on a pedestal. Throughout the show he tells stories and invites us into his childhood. Stories of his 'country as can be' father that not only entertain us but show his humble roots. Roots you can see he sticks to and is proud of. He stops the show to call out to a couple who are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary and makes them feel special for staying together. Reminding us of the love he has brought into the room through his music and the kind of people who are Ricky Skaggs fans.
In the second half of the show Ricky brings us to tears when he sings "I Heard My Mother Call My Name in Prayer", a song he adopted from Flatt & Scruggs which has since become one of his fan favorites. Skaggs tells us how he remembers walking in on his mother praying for him and his brother when he was little and how that song has always meant so much to him. He wears his faith on his sleeve shamelessly and he praises God for his achievements. But the one thing i remember observing the most, was how excited and grateful he was to be there, in the Ryman for Bluegrass night with the people who have supported his career from the get go. Decades later, he is still like that young boy walking onto the Opry stage for the first time. Excited and humble and ready to share his music. That energy fills us with the same emotion and it feels like home.
There is a feeling you get when you go to a Ricky Skaggs show that is second to none. That feeling, that feels like home, is why Ricky Skaggs has us coming back for more and keeps us rooting in his corner. That feeling, is why i've named 2018 'The Year of Ricky Skaggs'.
God bless you Ricky!