Gskaggs in Gstaad

Gtaad Country NightEarlier this month (September 12-13) Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder was among the headliners at the Gstaad Country Night festival in Switzerland. Since 1989 this event has brought top American acts, and European artists who perform American music, to Swiss audiences.

We got a note recently from a reader, Tom Desiderio, just returned from a visit in Switzerland, and he shared his perspective as an American bluegrass fan attending a show in Europe.

“I was in Switzerland visiting my daughter along with my wife and son and my daughter surprised me with tickets to the Gstaad Country Night festival that featured Clint Black, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder and other acts. It was interesting seeing country fans from Europe but they are there, not just in the USA.

When Ricky Skaggs performed Bluegrass Breakdown, the place erupted in applause and stomping. They were so impressed with the talent, even Ricky was surprised at the response of the crowd. Most songs were followed by long periods of applause. I have been to many of his concerts in Virginia and never have heard such a response to his music. When I went to the concert, I felt that bluegrass music would not be welcomed as much as country music, but I was definitely wrong.

Thanks to Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for their amazing talent and contribution to bluegrass music.”

And thanks to Tom for sharing his impressions.

Speaking of Ricky Skaggs, he will be featured on the next Track-By-Track show on XM satellite Radio’s Bluegrass Junction. He and host Kyle Cantrell will play each track in order from his most recent release, Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass – Tribute to 1946 and 1947, interspersed with Ricky’s recollections and thoughts about the project and the individual songs.

The CD, released in March 0f 2008, has Ricky and his crack band running through songs recorded by the “original bluegrass band” of Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Chubby Wise and Howard Watts during their first recording sessions.

The Skaggs Track-By-Track show debuts on Tuesday (9/23) at 8:00 a.m. (EDT) on XM track 14, with rebroadcasts scheduled over the next two weeks.

  • Tuesday, 9/23 – 8:00 a.m.
  • Friday, 9/26 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, 9/28 – 12:00 Noon
  • Wednesday, 10/1 – 4:00 p.m.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.