RICKY SKAGGS, “Country Hits Bluegrass Style,” 14 tracks. Skaggs Family Records.

The theory behind Ricky Skaggs’ “Country Hits Bluegrass Style” is that he’s remade his country hits from the 1980s into bluegrass songs.

But bluegrass traditionalists might take issue with that.

Pianos, accordions, steel guitars, drums and the Nashville String Ensemble don’t really say bluegrass to most traditionalists.

Maybe it’s bluegrass-style with country instruments.

But whatever you call it, “Country Hits Bluegrass Style” is a good “greatest hits” package from the guy Chet Atkins once said “single-handedly” saved country music.

Compared to everything else that was coming out of Nashville 30 years ago, Skaggs’ music sounded downright retro. And his 1984 version of Bill Monroe’s “Uncle Pen” was definitely bluegrass — the first bluegrass song to top the country charts since Flatt & Scruggs’ “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” in 1963.

This collection includes Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs’ “Don’t Get Above Your Raising” and “Crying My Heart Out Over You,” Larry Cordle’s “Highway 40 Blues” and Mel Tillis’ “Honey (Open That Door).”

You’ll also hear “Heartbroke,” “You’ve Got A Lover,” “Cajun Moon,” “He Was On To Something (So He Made You),” “Lovin’ Only Me,” “I Don’t Care,” “Country Boy,” “I Wouldn’t Change You If I Could” and “Somebody’s Prayin’.”

Here’s the deal: “Country Hits Bluegrass Style” is a good album, one that Skaggs’ legions of fans should want.

But if you’re offended by drums, pianos and string ensembles, be warned.

Can’t find it in stores? Try www.SkaggsFamilyRecords.com.

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One Comment on “RICKY SKAGGS, “Country Hits Bluegrass Style,” 14 tracks. Skaggs Family Records.”

  1. Cheryl Long Says:

    When I’m looking for the latest country music, I always end up in one spot – 103.1 WIRK. I was even lucky enough to catch up with Keith Van Allen in the streets and got free ‘Rib Round Up’ tickets. Just one of the many events that keep me tuned into http://www.wirk.com


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