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Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
Sunday May 6 2001 Paramount Theater Rutland, Vermont

Story and photos by William Bolton

      Wow!!!!! Ricky Skaggs is an absolute genius. I don't mean just as an artist either (one look at his list of honors and awards would tell you that). What I'm talking about is the way this man mixes so many different ingredients together and makes it all a wonderful thing for so many different kinds of people to enjoy.
      In his music Ricky puts together Bluegrass with Country and Gospel to achieve something that will not only appeal to fans of all of these genres of music but will also draw them to the ones they had not followed before.

      On stage Ricky also packages his beliefs into small statements mixed with a good sense of humor in such a manner as to get the approval of those who agree, but not so much as to offend those who do not.
      During the show Ricky tipped his hat to the good Lord and also talked about bird hunting with his pal Jimmy (Mills). Ricky has a fantastic stage presence and brings the crowd into the show by sharing stories and his thoughts with them.

      Ricky also proves his genius by the company he keeps. The members of Kentucky Thunder are an incredibly talented group of musicians, each a master of his chosen instrument, many of whom have solo work out of there own. They compliment Ricky's style to a tee.

      As for lyrical content of the show, they performed many songs from their albums "Country Rocks, But Bluegrass Rules", "Ancient Tomes", There latest "Skaggs Family Records" release "Soldier Of The Cross", and ""Big Mon"" a star studded album, put together by Ricky saluting the music of Bill Monroe. During the show Ricky also paid tribute both verbally and musically to his other influences including The Stanley Brothers and Flatt and Scruggs.

      Also worth a mention is something that they did when they came back out for an encore. The lady sitting next to me shouted out that she wanted to hear "Highway40" and sure enough that is what they played (try doing that next time you are out at a show). All in all this was a terrific night of entertainment.

      I would suggest that if Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder come anywhere near your town, you should get tickets early and be there. If there is any validity to the statement (and this bands battle cry)"Country Rocks, But Bluegrass Rules" it is because of Mr. Ricky Skaggs

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