My wife and I had the privilege (yes, privilege) of attending a Ricky Skaggs concert at the Leeds Center of the Arts in Winchester, Kentucky. This is the second time I’ve seen him in concert, and I must say that he puts on about as good a concert as you’ll find in any genre. He and six others stood up with their mandolins, violins, bass, guitars, and banjo and played for the sheer joy of making top-flight music.
The first Ricky Skaggs work I ever bought was his Country Boy cassette (remember cassettes?) back in 1984. And even when I veered away from country music in high school, I still kept that Ricky Skaggs cassette with me. Though I wasn’t a country fan at that point, I did recognize good musicianship.
When I went off to college as a music major, country and bluegrass sank to the bottom of my likes along with rap. Looking back, I was a bit of a musical snob. I said yes to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and Debussy. I said yes to jazz greats like Bill Evans, Bud Powell, and Dave Brubeck. I said yes because they were, in my opinion, more musically inventive. They didn’t just have three chords and a yee-ha! They explored the musical heights and depths, showing why these masters still hold interest after decades and even centuries pass by.
And yet, I still kept that Ricky Skaggs cassette in an old shoebox and toted that box with me for years—through college, seminary, marriage, children. A couple years ago, I pulled it out and popped in my cassette player and, after all these years, was so impressed with his musical ability.
When I began to be intrigued with the Appalachian area and having a desire to understand the culture, I began to appreciate Bluegrass music all the more. I became acquainted with many Kentucky-born Bluegrass players such as Bobby Osbourne, Grandpa Jones, and of course Ricky Skaggs.
So when I heard that Skaggs would be at the Elk Creek Vineyard in Owenton, Kentucky, I had to go. So my wife and I sat in 50 degree weather and listened to some of the most wonderful music we had heard in a while. I felt like I had finally found a musical home.
Yet, what I enjoyed about Skaggs was how forthright he is about his Christian faith. He was clear in the benefit concert we saw in Winchester that he has given over his music ministry to the Lord and will use it to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Below is a great song called “Hallelujah! I Am Ready.”
Not everyone may be a fan of bluegrass or Ricky Skaggs, but he gives us a great lesson in how we can use our gifts and talents for the Lord and the spreading of His Word!
Take time to check out his new Christian album, Mosaic.