Canton Labor Day: Ricky Skaggs

Throughout the 1980s, Ricky Skaggs was the toast of country music. Twelve #1 hits, eight CMA and ACM awards, a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and fronting one of the most successful touring acts around, he was a true ambassador of the genre, onstage and in the studio.

And yet, as that country sound became more engineered and polished, Skaggs become more enamored with the bluegrass roots of his career, where the legends of Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs and Dr. Ralph Stanley reign supreme.

Smoky Mountain News: What about the notion that a lot of real deal country fans are drifting over to bluegrass these days with its recent rise again in popularity?

Ricky Skaggs: Well, every time country music loses its way, loses its step, there seems to be a spike in bluegrass, and that’s what we’re seeing today. Bluegrass has that country music feel in its honest sound and earthy tone. The foundations of bluegrass are more folk, more mountainous and old-time, with sounds and characteristics that immediately take you back to the mountains.

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder will perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4, at Sorrells Street Park in Canton.

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