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Ricky Skaggs: There's No Magic To Win A Grammy

Posted by: Petr Mecir

photo: CountryZone.net
Interviews 07/27/2007

Ricky Skaggs is a true music legend. Starting out as a bluegrass musician who switched to country to achieve all he possible could and then switching back to bluegrass to became the leading personality of the genre. His 13 Grammy awards speak for themselves. Ricky visited Prague in 2007 and although he was in the city for 3 days, his schedule was very tight. After taping a TV show, attending honorary dinner at the Dobris Castle, seeing a classical music concert Ricky eventually went sightseeing Prague with his camera. I managed to get a brief interview before his show in the park.

A couple of years ago you said you wanted to release an album of your country hits in bluegrass style. How is this plan going?

"Oh, still on a back burner. It's not quite ready. We're trying to work the deal out with Sony to get my old masters back so that I can release the country versions as well but then we also wanna offer all our hits done bluegrass style, too."

When you release an album on your own, how can you catch attention of the Grammy voters? What is your recipe for winning Grammy?
Ricky Skaggs

"God's grace, his favor, yeah. There's no magic, no tricks. We try to put out good music every time. I think that's the best thing. It's just to try to always make music better if you can."

Bill Monroe is widely considered as the father of bluegrass but you say he was a jazz musician at the time. Can you explain it?

"Well, he had a gift hear. He had great ears to hear what sounds were coming. He knew how to put a really good band together they could play the kind of music that he heard in his heart. He was just a brilliant musician."

What about your kids, Molly, Lucas and Andrew? Do they play any musical instruments?

"Yeah, Molly and Lucas play. Molly plays piano, banjo, old-time banjo, Claw Hammer banjo, bass accordion. And Luke plays everything. He plays electric guitar, he plays acoustic guitar, he plays mandolin, he plays zither, bazuki, he plays lots of stuff."

Are any solo projects coming from them?

"Maybe someday, I don't know but I don't think right now. They're still in school. Molly graduated from Belmont, classical Music Major. She loves classical music. Luke is going to a ministry school. Worship music, that's what he's doing."

You have also collaborated with the Irish band the Chieftans. Do you find inspiration in Irish music?

"Well, I think the foundations of bluegrass music are Celtic music. Irish and Scottish music, I think. Many years ago that music came to America, in the 17, 18 hundreds. People kind of built on that foundation that came."

Do you know anything about bluegrass music in the Czech Republic?

"No, I don't. Is there many bands?"

Yeah, quite a lot.

"After today I'll know more."

Alright, thank you so much.

"Thank you."


Ricky Skaggs & Petr Mecir

(Ricky Skaggs & Petr Mecir - Prague, Czech Republic, 07/27/2007)


(C) Petr Mecir 2007. All rights reserved.