March 25, 2008 - Ricky Skaggs and his band, Kentucky Thunder, have a rather unusual album arriving in stores today: "Honoring The Fathers Of Bluegrass: Tribute To 1946 And 1947," pays homage to the recordings by Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys that helped shape the future of bluegrass music.
The album draws from the 28 tracks that Bill recorded with a pioneering version of his band that featured Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs before they went on their own. That version of the Blue Grass Boys also included fiddler Chubby Wise and bass player Howard Watts.
"There was a fire they had that I feel like musicians ought to go for," Ricky told The Tennessean. "Some people play the music, and it's correct, but it's passionless. That band, though, played with fire. It's an incredible thing, even when there are little hickeys."
"Hickeys" are Ricky's word for mistakes. He's so dedicated to the Blue Grass Boys' original recordings that he actually tried to recreate even their flubs in Honoring The Fathers, an album he hopes will introduce some new bluegrass fans to the musicians who set the music on its path.
"There is a new generation of bluegrass listener that has come along since the iPod and the Internet, and Alison [Krauss] and Nickel Creek have birthed a whole lot of bluegrass listeners that may not have heard Flatt and Scruggs and Monroe," Ricky said. "We did this album for education more than we did it for us. We did it to honor that original band."