Brand New Strings

Brand New Strings

4.0 1
by Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
     
 

Apropos of the title, bluegrass stalwart Ricky Skaggs joins fresh ideas with a reverence for tradition and his abiding spirituality on Brand New Strings, one of his deepest, most exciting albums. The title song is a case in point: A classic-styled barn burner, it tells the story of a blues picker transformed by love, a makeover reflected in his ebullientSee more details below

Overview

Apropos of the title, bluegrass stalwart Ricky Skaggs joins fresh ideas with a reverence for tradition and his abiding spirituality on Brand New Strings, one of his deepest, most exciting albums. The title song is a case in point: A classic-styled barn burner, it tells the story of a blues picker transformed by love, a makeover reflected in his ebullient playing. Rebecca Lynn Howard joins Skaggs on record for the first time, adding some jubilant harmonies, and electricity makes a dramatic entrance with guitarist Johnny Hyland's fleet-fingered, white-hot solo near the end. Similarly, Skaggs draws on shimmering electric guitar chords to spice up the acoustic arrangement on "If I Had It All Again to Do," a thoughtful reflection on family and the ties that bind. Skaggs' philosophy and faith have rarely been more effectively expressed than in the lilting, harmony-rich "Love Does It Every Time," an account of miracles born of faith, its message heightened by church bells, gut-string guitar, and affecting harmonies by Skaggs and his wife, Sharon White. The same is true for "My Father's Son," a moving, rhythmically rich confessional pointing out that "the highest laws are written / on the hearts of honest men." But what would a Ricky Skaggs album be without Bill Monroe? Here Mr. Bill is represented by "Sally Jo," Doug and Rusty Kershaw's folktale of a faithless femme -- a song that Monroe immortalized -- and Skaggs' sprightly, self-penned instrumental "Monroe Dancin'." Designed to move the spirit and the body, Brand New Strings makes easy work of both.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Gregory McIntosh
It should come as no surprise to fans of Ricky Skaggs that the level of musicianship within his band Kentucky Thunder is superb. Even at their worst, they skim the surface of maximum quality, but what is so exciting about Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder is their ability to balance on the frayed edges of classic and progressive bluegrass. Brand New Strings shows this off very well, forsaking neither, and is an excellent example of a group whose members are both technically fantastic and capable of emotionally exploiting their talents, a rare commodity in modern bluegrass. The first of Skaggs' four songwriting contributions, the instrumental "I Corinthians 1:18," is a perfect example of the more forward-thinking side of the group, while the title track is where the group completely cuts loose with ridiculously amazing picking and fiddling. Skaggs even broke the traditional bluegrass barrier by employing accordionist Tim Laure on "Love Does It Every Time," a nice melodic country-folk tune, if a little heavy-handed lyrically. Ultimately, Brand New Strings is an excellent outing for Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, and shows the band pulling bluegrass another small step further from its shelter into adventure.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/28/2004
Label:
Skaggs Family
UPC:
0669890100629
catalogNumber:
901006
Rank:
110813

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder   Primary Artist
Ricky Skaggs   Indexed Contributor,Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Gut String Guitar,Soloist,Claw Hammer Banjo,Hi String Guitar (Acoustic),Vocal Harmony,Papoose
Sam Bacco   Percussion,Bells,Spoons
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Jim Mills   Banjo,Soloist
Sharon White   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Darrin Vincent   Vocal Harmony
Cody Kilby   Banjo,Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Soloist
Mark Fain   Bass,Bowed Bass
Paul Brewster   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Bryan Sutton   Guitar
Keith Sewell   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Rebecca Lynn Howard   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Mike Snyder   Claw Hammer Banjo
Jeff Taylor   Accordion
Andy Leftwich   Mandolin
Johnny Hyland   Electric Guitar
Tim Laure   Accordion,Portative Organ
Molly Skaggs   Dulcimer
Jeff Taylor   Accordion

Technical Credits

Ricky Skaggs   Composer,Engineer,Audio Production
Doug Kershaw   Composer
Guy Clark   Composer
Mel Tillis   Composer
Rusty Kershaw   Composer
John Wiggins   Composer
Harley Allen   Composer
Shawn Camp   Composer
Brent King   Engineer
Don Rollins   Composer
Bobby Terry   Composer
Lee Groitzsch   Engineer
Steve Leslie   Composer
Keith Sewell   Composer
Andrew Mendelson   Mastering
Rupert Neve   Design Engineer
Tony Mullins   Composer
Tommy Conners   Composer
Shawn Lane   Composer

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