History of the Future

History of the Future

5.0 4
by Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
     
 
Speak not of a bluegrass resurgence to Ricky Skaggs -- that's what he's been doing full-time since 1997. Skaggs has become his generation's most persuasive ambassador for bluegrass, just as Ralph Stanley is to his and Bill Monroe was to his. That's fast company to run with, but Skaggs keeps pace and keeps the

Overview

Speak not of a bluegrass resurgence to Ricky Skaggs -- that's what he's been doing full-time since 1997. Skaggs has become his generation's most persuasive ambassador for bluegrass, just as Ralph Stanley is to his and Bill Monroe was to his. That's fast company to run with, but Skaggs keeps pace and keeps the faith every time he goes into the studio. History of the Future gives contemporary bluegrass musicians a new standard to shoot for, as it dramatically demonstrates the intersect between the music and its lyrical sensitivity, a pairing responsible for the genre's timeless allure. The disc bustles with both breakneck, fiery displays of instrumental virtuosity and emotional exuberance, from the whoopin', hollerin' album opener, "Shady Grove," to the joyous closer, "Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms." In between there's sweet meat on the bone. Carter Stanley's celebratory "The Old Home," Bill Monroe's mournful "Mother's Only Sleeping," and Paul Overstreet's just-right ballad of redemption and forgiveness, "Halfway Home Café," speak to the family themes Skaggs holds dear (and his vocal on the latter is, arguably, as soul-deep as any he's ever laid down). To balance things out, there's Joe and Rose Maphis's evergreen "Dim Lights Thick Smoke and Loud Music," a honky-tonk "J'accuse!" to a loose woman who'll "never make a wife to a home-lovin' man," sung by Skaggs in convincing brokenhearted tones. With this effortless display, Skaggs and his formidable band, Kentucky Thunder, are starting to make it seem so easy.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Scott Cooper
Does the world really need another version of "Shady Grove?" Ricky Skaggs apparently thinks so; he opens History of the Future with his rendition of the bluegrass standard. But if there's any guy who can cover such an over-covered tune, and make it work, it's Skaggs. His version includes a slightly different arrangement, backed by rickety percussion and, of course, Kentucky Thunder's instrumental fireworks. Another step away from Skaggs' past as Nashville pretty boy and country-pop star is another step deeper into his bluegrass roots. His vocals are just as fresh as ever, and that creative mandolin playing transcends that of his hero Bill Monroe. Traditional tunes like "Dim Lights Thick Smoke" and "Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms" are performed with more than ample respect for tradition, while more modern tunes such as "Too Far Down to Fall" and "Halfway Home Café" hint of Skaggs' Nashville career. Yet, like the previous bluegrass releases with Kentucky Thunder, he mixes both without sacrificing anything. From start to finish, this sounds like one band performing a variety of songs, none of which sound out of place. Add your token instrumental (the Irish-flavored "Road to Spencer") and a token waltz (the Stanley Brothers' "Your Selfish Heart") and you have a quintessential modern bluegrass release. Everything is just so perfect that it's easy to dismiss it as too slick, but Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder are able to make the music soulful too. Now that's perfect.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/11/2001
Label:
Skaggs Family
UPC:
0669890100322
catalogNumber:
901003
Rank:
227840

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder   Primary Artist
Jerry Douglas   Fiddle
Ricky Skaggs   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Guitar (Electric Baritone)
Eric Darken   Percussion
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Bobby Hicks   Fiddle
Jim Mills   Banjo
John Mock   Penny Whistle,Celtic Drum
Darrin Vincent   Vocal Harmony
Mark Fain   Bass
Paul Brewster   Vocal Harmony
Kentucky Thunder   Track Performer
Clay Hess   Guitar

Technical Credits

Ricky Skaggs   Composer,Producer
Joe Maphis   Composer
Paul Overstreet   Composer
Wesley Golding   Composer
Brent King   Engineer
Rose Lee   Composer
Elliot   Composer
Johnny Barranco   Composer
Max Fidler   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Ruby Rakes   Composer

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History of the Future 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
HISTORY OF THE FUTURE is a welcome back to his roots for Ricky Skaggs. Welcome back to Bluegrass - Ricky. With minimum country influence on this disc, the upbeat tempo of most of the cuts was music to my ears. More of the same in the future! Thanks Ricky!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder have once again set the standard for acoustical and vocal harmonic expertise in bluegrass music. History of the Future carries the torch, passed on from Ancient Tones. It's a must have for both bluegrass fans and acousit lovers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i heard the song halfway home cafe on the radio this morning. i'm thinking ricky skaggs has another #1 hit on his hands.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nobody does it better. Ricky is absolutley the best and will always be in my opinion. I have cherished his music since 1981 and hope there is more to come. I have all his recordings. I play at least one every day and never get tired of hearing them. No other artist has brought me so much pleasure.