Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

Ricky Skaggs and the Kentucky Thunder

Approximately one year ago, we had a hurricane named Irma but there was no thunder in that storm, Kentucky Thunder that is.  On September 7, 2017, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder had been scheduled to perform at the intimate setting provided by the Lyric Theater in downtown Stuart, FL .  Yet, Hurricane Irma was on track to blow through a couple days later so the Kentucky Thunder was absent.  Fortunately the show was rescheduled for November 1, 2017 and the thunder roared in the Lyric that night.

Mr. Skaggs and his band, featuring Paul Brewster (rhythm guitar), Scott Mulvahill (bass), Russ Carson (banjo), Jake Workman (lead guitar), Mike Barnett (fiddle), and Dennis Parker (guitar) performed many classic bluegrass standards.

In addition to playing songs such as Heartbroke from his country music days, the set list included:

How Mountain Girls Can Love

Carolina Mountain Home

If I Lose

Bluegrass Breakdown

I Heard My Mother Call My Name In Prayer

Uncle Pen

Ricky Skaggs

Jim Mills, former banjo player in Kentucky Thunder, is reported to have said that no matter how fast the tempo was Mr. Skaggs was always pushing to pick up the pace.  That mindset was definitely evident that night at the Lyric.  The band was tight, the tempo was driving and the audience was motivational.  Besides the music, many a personal stories were told about his childhood and his performing with many bluegrass legends.

The Bluegrass community should always remain grateful that Mr. Skaggs decided to return to his roots and remain one of the living links to the Founders of the bluegrass genre.



Note:  Our guest Blog writer, Randall Cameron,  is a Research Biologist for the USDA, Agricultural Research Service. He  has been “playing” the banjo, for better or worse, a total of about three and a half years interspersed over a much longer period of time


About fretmentor

Born in Detroit, Michigan, David F. Jakubiak has been involved in music since the age of 7, beginning as a clarinet player and then at 9 turning his attention to stringed instruments. He earned trophies in group talent competitions while a student at the University of Michigan. The instructor earned a BA degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Kansas. At college, he also studied classical music and music history. His passion is teaching music and in performing as a musician. In addition to on-stage performances, David has played in various venues from outdoor festivals to small nightclubs. He plays, performs and teaches various styles of music, including rock, pop, blues, jazz, classical, country and bluegrass styles. He performs and teaches acoustic and electric guitar, five-string banjo, and mandolin. His styles range from Scruggs, melodic, Reno and old-time style on banjo, to finger-style and flat-picking technique on guitar, to various styles of mandolin. For over 45 years, Mr. Jakubiak has taught all age groups, taking a personal interest in each student to ensure that they receive the attention and lesson plans that meet their needs and interests. His lessons and instructional materials place a strong emphasis on the practical use or music theory to ensure that the student understands the instrument and learns how to improvise to develop their own style. Mr Jakubiak teaches group and studio classes, webcam lessons over the internet, and individual private lessons to students of various ages. He has compiled and produced eight instructional books on CD as well as numerous instrumental arrangements. David has written for Banjo Newsletter, a monthly publication for the banjo enthusiast and has published an article in Issue #37 of the Fretboard Journal. He is the founder of www.fretmentor.com. To contact David Jakubiak, please feel free to e-mail him at david AT fretmentor.com (substitute the @ sign for the word AT)
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