Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder to Tour UK

This post comes from our semi-regular correspondent, Richard F. Thompson. He writes from England, where he is also a longstanding contributor to British Bluegrass News, a quarterly print publication where he also briefly served as editor.

Ricky Skaggs on the cover of Maverick magazine, July 2007Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder are to play some dates in the UK at the end of July through to early August. This tour will be immediately preceded with a show in the Republic of Ireland.

The anchor date for this forthcoming tour is Skaggs’s appearance at the BBC Radio 2-sponsored Cambridge Folk Festival, in the Cherry Hinton Hall Grounds, Cambridge, on July 29.

The other dates are as follows …

July 28 Midlands Festival, Ballinlough Castle, Athboy, Meath
July 30 The Sage, St. Mary’s Sq./Gateshead Quays, Gateshead
July 31 The Old Fruit Market, Glasgow
August 2 Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
August 4 IndigO2, London

While in Europe the twelve-times Grammy Award winner and eight-times IBMA Instrumental Group Of The Year Award winners will play a date in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, on July 27 at Music In The Park in Stromovka Park, Prague.

The venues vary from a 17th century Irish castle, 45 miles from Dublin, to a new 2,350 capacity purpose-built music venue in Greenwich, London, and the grounds of a late Tudor style hall, to a civic hall named after the 10th century founder of a Black Country city.

Ricky Skaggs is a familiar visitor to the UK, as he reminds interviewer Alan Cackett in the July edition of Maverick magazine:

“We came over with Reba McIntire about eight years ago, and that was fun. We have ploughed some pretty deep ground in the UK in the mid-1980s.” Those early tours opened up a new market and have really paid off for him. Skaggs adds, “I love playing in the UK, so much of the music originated in the Celtic regions. I feel like it is part of returning home with some of its music and we have tried to get over there as often as we can.”

“It is going to be a tight ten days of work, but it is going to be a really good tour. It should be fun to play for our friends and neighbours!”

The all-star line-up of Kentucky Thunder includes Andy Leftwich (fiddle), Cody Kilby (lead guitar), Mark Fain (bass), Darrin Vincent (baritone vocals, rhythm guitar), Paul Brewster (tenor vocals, rhythm guitar) and Jim Mills (banjo).

Skaggs’s latest albums are the eponymous collaboration with Bruce Hornsby (Sony/Legacy) and Instrumentals (Skaggs Family).