Mandolins Raining Bluegrass at Turning Stone with Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby

Sometimes some of the most unusual pairings become the sweetest combinations.  That is exactly what happens when you combine Grammy award winners Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs.  Ten years ago the two came together by happenstance and after discovering how appealing this union was, their marriage of sounds continues to please all that have the opportunity to hear it.

Collaborating on a combined album ten years ago fittingly named, Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby they debunked all nay sayers who insisted the piano and bluegrass combo didn’t gel.  With breakneck upbeat tempos on piano, Hornsby keeps the fire going as Skaggs shreds the mandolin and guitar with lightning speed.  Finishing up their spring tour at the Turning Stone Showroom on Sunday, March 5, Skaggs, Hornsby and their band Kentucky Thunder wowed the crowds from start to finish.

Kentucky Thunder, Skaggs’ tour band, includes Paul Brewster (tenor vocals, rhythm guitar), Scott Mulvahill (bass, bass vocals), Russ Carson (banjo), Jake Workman (lead guitar), Mike Barnett (fiddle) and Dennis Parker (baritone vocals, guitar).  With front men Skaggs and Hornsby leading the surge, the sound explosion rocks the crowd each and every time they hit the stage.  The songs chosen for the setlist showcased the skills and talents of each and every one of them. This group performance had the feeling of a mountainous jam session despite the bright lights of the Showroom.  The packed crowd couldn’t contain themselves as they clapped and moved in their seats with each tune all night long.

As the show ended and the crowds dispersed, those who stuck around had the ultimate pleasure of meeting the legendary Ricky Skaggs.  Hornsby who unfortunately  had a flight to catch couldn’t stay, but Skaggs took the time to sign and take photographs with each and every fan.  I couldn’t help but fangirl over this legend.  Growing up outside of Nashville,  the music of the Opry and the stars that shine brightly on that stage become part of your culture.  They are family, and Ricky Skaggs is a patriarch to that family.  To meet this legend was huge.  It was the grace and humility demonstrated by Ricky Skaggs that evening that proved that country music is more than just music, it’s the common thread that unifies us.  In this chaotic life we lead, to stop and enjoy music as we did this evening is what it’s all about.


Setlist:  How Mt. Girls, Toy Heart, Bluegrass Breakdown, Darlin Corey, The Way It Is, Spoon, Ceili, I’m A People, Blue Night, Columbus Stockade, 20/20 Vision, Sally Jo/Maggie, Uncle Pen, Rawhide. Encore: Heard My Mother

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