The performance this weekend by Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA has generated some press in and around the US capital.
Richard Harrington has a lengthy piece in today’s Washington Post which looks at Ricky’s long career in music, and his early days living in VA and working for the power company before going to work for The Country Gentlemen when he was 21 years old.
“The job at Vepco was important,” Skaggs recalls. “I had been with Ralph a couple of years before that, and the work was hard, with lots of traveling and very minimal pay. I was 16, 17 then, so it wasn’t like I deserved a lot more money.”
His needs were different as an adult, and Skaggs found himself wondering, “Am I gonna do this part time and weekends and work through the week, like a lot of musicians in that area did? The Seldom Scene, for instance — they maintained their jobs and still got to play and make records and go out and work when they wanted to. So there was some reckoning that took place in Washington for me.
“And I decided not to do that and took the job with the Country Gentlemen full time, and I’ve never looked back. I knew that God created me to be a musician, not to be a high-pressure boiler operator flooding the basement every once in a while.”
The whole story, which discusses his subsequent work with Emmy Lou Harris and his country music days as well as his current endeavors, can be read at washingtonpost.com, though a brief, free registration may be required.
There is also a story in The Free Lance Star (Fredericksburg, VA) by Emily Gilmore that ran yesterday.