By: Chase Sewell
Ricky Skaggs' new album, The High Notes, includes a wide selection of reworked early country classics. The High Notes captures the spirit of acoustic music and the talent of Ricky Skaggs. With songs like "Crying My Heart Out Over You," "Heartbroke" and "Highway 40 Blues," this album will be readily accepted by existing fans. To top it off, you can even purchase it while eating grits at your local Cracker Barrel restaurant. Hot damn!
A downfall to the record is that it mimics a typical approach to contemporary country music – i.e. a tribute, biggest hits, "best of" album - which to some people seems to be the only thing saving country music. Ricky Skaggs' self-proclaimed ability to pioneer isn't really in motion on this album. There is a fun variety of bluegrass highlights and surprising renditions of his earlier country songs, but don’t play this one in hopes of any serious experimentation a la Béla Fleck or Sam Bush. Skaggs’ loyalty to his roots, however, is what sets him apart from a lot of newer bluegrass, and it doesn't mean this new material has to come across as outdated (which would be a paradox anyway, right?). This talented musician, aside from accomplishing some great instrumental prowess, still possesses his trademark ability to polish granny's music into high quality tunes. You come to expect nothing less from a twelve time Grammy award winner.
JamBase | Pickin' Up Dough
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