Bluegrass at its finest is coming to Statesboro tonight.
Country and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs, 14-time Grammy winner, will perform at Georgia Southern University’s Performing Arts Center, and remaining tickets for the event are limited.
Skaggs’ latest album is hot in the country and bluegrass world. Country Weekly and Billboard magazines have touted “Ricky Skaggs Solo: Songs My Dad Loved” as superb, and local music lovers will get the chance to experience Skaggs’ musical magic live during his performance tonight.
Skaggs was already considered a “recognized master” of bluegrass at age 21, after having learned to play the mandolin at an early age. His father, Hobert Skaggs, overheard 3-year-old Ricky harmonizing with his mother while he played, so Hobert surprised his son with a mandolin. One day, after having given young Ricky only a few brief lessons, Hobert was stunned to find his son making chord changes and singing along.
It’s obvious, from Skaggs' musical history, to recognize natural talent and love for the music, and “Ricky Skaggs Solo: Songs My Dad Loved” pays tribute to the man who inspired the musician.
Skaggs has enjoyed success for 38 years in music, and he is involved in the recent “roots revival” movement. He is affectionately referred to as “bluegrass music’s official ambassador,” and has refreshed interest in the genre over the past few years.
Skaggs left bluegrass behind for a while, pursuing a country music career.
According to his official biography, he teamed up with Keith Whitley to perform with bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley. But in the late 1970s, he “went country.”
People loved him, as was proven by eight awards from the Country Music Association (CMA), including “Entertainer of the Year” in 1985, four Grammy Awards, and dozens of other honors. Skaggs helped bring the “country” back to country music.
But in 1997, Skaggs founded his own record label, Skaggs Family Records. Although country music was kind to him, Skaggs is of a mind that “country rocks, but bluegrass rules.”
While Skaggs may perform a variety of songs tonight, it’s likely he will pull from his newest release. Listeners will enjoy the sounds of the fiddle, clawhammer banjo and mandolin as Skaggs does his thing.
Skaggs and his group Kentucky Thunder will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tickets remaining are limited, but those interested can contact the PAC box office at (912) 478-7999 or visit the center between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the Nessmith-Lane Building.