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
I Heard My Mother Call My Name In Prayer
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