RICKY SKAGGS & BRUCE HORNSBY
The Stiefel Theatre
© Lydia Lowe 2013
A large, enthusiastic and rowdy crowd showed up for the Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby show at The Stiefel on Saturday night. This all acoustic bluegrass show was truly an inspiration. I’m not a a diehard bluegrass fan but I did enjoy this show.
To say that the music was strictly bluegrass, isn’t entirely true. There was a little bit of country, a little bit of rock, some Irish melodies mixed in with the Blues, and some Middle Eastern influences. There were some fun songs, like The Dreaded Spoon (about a dad who took his half off the top of his children’s ice cream cones) and Cluck Ol’ Hen (for those who just can’t find a good chicken song any more). The group did a bluegrass version of Super Freak which was amazing. I have never heard a Rick James song sung Bluegrass style and it was not to be missed. I will never hear the song that I won’t think of the stage version of the song. And there was so much more.
Hornsby did a take on That’s Just The Way It Is (the long version) which was incredible. I will always remember that version whenever I hear the song played on the radio. He also performed a totally different version of Mandolin Rain. I haven’t quite made up my mind about this one. I like the original but the way it was sung Saturday night was slow and heart wrenching. Ricky accompanied Hornsby on the mandolin and you could almost hear the rain. It was so sad and lonesome. Very powerful. But so forlorn. I think I prefer the radio version, it’s a bit more upbeat, but there is something to be said for the stage version as well. It’s safe to say I haven’t made my mind up yet. I liked them both, equally.
I’m not as familiar with Skaggs music and they did sing one of his biggest songs. I knew the all the words but can’t remember the name of the tune.
Truly a night of inspiring music and tunes mixed up and re-imagined. It was creativity at its best. The sky is the limit and nothing stays the same. It just goes to show that there are so many ways to invent and re-invent music over and over endlessly.