11 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The pairing of bluegrass virtuoso Ricky Skaggs and piano-centric singer/songwriter Bruce Hornsby is not as surprising as it first seems. Skaggs’ traditionalism has been colored by a touch of pop, and Hornsby’s commercial instincts haven’t prevented him from showing his folk roots. This 2007 collaboration brings out the best in them both — when Skaggs’ mandolin meshes with Hornsby’s light-fingered keyboard work, the effect is enrapturing. There’s a timeless mood to many of the tracks, whether the duo is interpreting an old-time ballad like “Across The Rocky Mountains” or re-working Hornsby’s “A Night On The Town” and “Mandolin Rain.” Skaggs’ playing is particularly graceful on the sprightly instrumental “Stubb,” Hornsby gives a warm vocal performance on the small-town vignette “The Dreaded Spoon,” and Celtic tones light up the beautifully-rendered “Crown Of Jewels.” The support players acquit themselves well, with fiddlers Andy Leftwich and Stuart Duncan slipping in some especially deft licks. The album’s key guest star, though, is singer John Anderson, who contributes a hilariously understated vocal to the album’s oddball remake of Ricky James’ “Super Freak.” Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby is a match-up that deserves a repeat engagement.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The pairing of bluegrass virtuoso Ricky Skaggs and piano-centric singer/songwriter Bruce Hornsby is not as surprising as it first seems. Skaggs’ traditionalism has been colored by a touch of pop, and Hornsby’s commercial instincts haven’t prevented him from showing his folk roots. This 2007 collaboration brings out the best in them both — when Skaggs’ mandolin meshes with Hornsby’s light-fingered keyboard work, the effect is enrapturing. There’s a timeless mood to many of the tracks, whether the duo is interpreting an old-time ballad like “Across The Rocky Mountains” or re-working Hornsby’s “A Night On The Town” and “Mandolin Rain.” Skaggs’ playing is particularly graceful on the sprightly instrumental “Stubb,” Hornsby gives a warm vocal performance on the small-town vignette “The Dreaded Spoon,” and Celtic tones light up the beautifully-rendered “Crown Of Jewels.” The support players acquit themselves well, with fiddlers Andy Leftwich and Stuart Duncan slipping in some especially deft licks. The album’s key guest star, though, is singer John Anderson, who contributes a hilariously understated vocal to the album’s oddball remake of Ricky James’ “Super Freak.” Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby is a match-up that deserves a repeat engagement.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5
64 Ratings

64 Ratings

chuckd1 ,

Skaggs & Hornsby

A little disappointing as far as individual instrumental virtuosity that both musicians undeniably possess. It lacks that "back-room" sit down and jam spontaneity and interaction. However, the vocal synergy was surprisingly good.

Best-ears@14 ,

...and then God said let there be music!!!

When this deuet formed God cried. The style of it all and the harmony can just move you to tears. I'm not very emotional so I didn't really cry, but you catch my drift. What I really want to know is what's the name of the violinist? If you know, title your reveiw 'Violinist' .

rochranek ,

Doesn't Get Any Better...

Hornsby and Skaggs make a great pairing on this record. Performing new material, and old-- while giving Hornsby songs like Mandolin Rain a new twist.

Skaggs is a master of bluegrass performing with his band, The Kentucky Thunder.

Two musical geniuses united for one great album, and it doesn't get any better than this.

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