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Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby

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Editors’ Notes

The pairing of bluegrass virtuoso Ricky Skaggs and piano-centric singer/songwriter Bruce Hornsby is not as surprising as it first seems. Skaggs’ traditionalism has been colored by a touch of pop, and Hornsby’s commercial instincts haven’t prevented him from showing his folk roots. This 2007 collaboration brings out the best in them both — when Skaggs’ mandolin meshes with Hornsby’s light-fingered keyboard work, the effect is enrapturing. There’s a timeless mood to many of the tracks, whether the duo is interpreting an old-time ballad like “Across The Rocky Mountains” or re-working Hornsby’s “A Night On The Town” and “Mandolin Rain.” Skaggs’ playing is particularly graceful on the sprightly instrumental “Stubb,” Hornsby gives a warm vocal performance on the small-town vignette “The Dreaded Spoon,” and Celtic tones light up the beautifully-rendered “Crown Of Jewels.” The support players acquit themselves well, with fiddlers Andy Leftwich and Stuart Duncan slipping in some especially deft licks. The album’s key guest star, though, is singer John Anderson, who contributes a hilariously understated vocal to the album’s oddball remake of Ricky James’ “Super Freak.” Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby is a match-up that deserves a repeat engagement.

Customer Reviews

...and then God said let there be music!!!

When this deuet formed God cried. The style of it all and the harmony can just move you to tears. I'm not very emotional so I didn't really cry, but you catch my drift. What I really want to know is what's the name of the violinist? If you know, title your reveiw 'Violinist' .

Doesn't Get Any Better...

Hornsby and Skaggs make a great pairing on this record. Performing new material, and old-- while giving Hornsby songs like Mandolin Rain a new twist. Skaggs is a master of bluegrass performing with his band, The Kentucky Thunder. Two musical geniuses united for one great album, and it doesn't get any better than this.

Love it!

Bruce was talking about this album when I last saw him play Newport and gave us a great preview of "The Dreaded Spoon" and the story behind it; fun stuff. Nice to hear Ricky getting back to bluegrass, and check out "SuperFreak", the video for this is on CMT and maybe still up on Youtube. This album is crisp and clean, a really great production.


Born: November 23, 1954 in Williamsburg, VA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Possessed of a breezy, nonchalant style that belies his technical gifts, pianist Bruce Hornsby writes powerful songs from the heart that touch on several distinctly American traditions: pop, jazz, bluegrass, and '60s soul. He worked for a while as a studio player and songwriter, and had his first hit in 1986 with the stirring and philosophical "The Way It Is." After that, he continued to release albums that honored his own muse rather than the marketplace, and put together various backing bands to...
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