Jake Workman joins Ricky Skaggs

Jake WorkmanWasting no time after yesterday’s announcement that Cody Kilby was leaving Kentucky Thunder, Ricky Skaggs has announced today that Utah flatpicker Jake Workman has joined the band.

Like many young guitarists, Jake came to bluegrass sideways, having started with an interest in rock guitar in his teens. He quickly became accomplished in the genre, but things took a turn when his parents surprised him with a banjo one year for Christmas. Bluegrass quickly got in amongst him, and the die was cast.

Jake received a degree in jazz guitar from the University of Utah, won the Texas State Flatpicking Championship in 2010, and has been in the top five for both the banjo and guitar championships at the Walnut Valley festival in Winfield. He has worked previously with Cold Creek and The Aaron Ashton Band in the Salt Lake City area, and with his wife as the Jake and Rebekah Workman Band. Both Jake and Rebekah have also been performing with Driven out of Wichita.

This young guitarslinger possesses a remarkable technique, with the sort of speed and agility required to play with Kentucky Thunder, as you can see in his winning submission for the 2014 Flatpick Challenge.


Jake is simply delighted with this opportunity to travel with Skaggs.

“I am very honored and excited to have had Ricky call me for this job. Growing up I spent hours and hours jamming to Kentucky Thunder records and always thought it would be the dream gig as a bluegrass guitar player. I never imagined it would actually happen; looking forward to rocking with this killer band!”

Ricky is likewise happy to be bringing him aboard, as he wishes the departing Kilby the best.

Ricky Skaggs“I’m so happy for Cody, as he came with me when he was 19 and stayed 14 years. He had so much potential, and with his hard work, he far exceeded my expectations. He’s become one of the very best guitar players in bluegrass music today. I’m so proud of him. I wished him the very best, and I blessed him to go. He will be a great addition to the Travelin’ McCourys. I wish the band the very best, too. They’re all my friends and I know Cody will be in a good place. I’ll miss him being around. He is great young man and I love him dearly.

I’m very excited about hiring Jake Workman to be the new guitar player for Kentucky Thunder. He came highly recommend by two Thunder alumni, Bryan Sutton and Cody Kilby. He is a monster player from what I’ve seen and heard. He’ll be a great fit.”

Workman’s first shows with the band will be at the Grand Ole Opry, December 11-12. You can find the full Kentucky Thunder schedule online.

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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.