Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby played their first gig together last night at the Factory in Franklin, TN (just outside Nashville) for the TV taping of CMT Crossroads. They have a record together set to be released in March. Their first “official” gig together will come this weekend in NYC at B.B. King’s Blues Club.
The 12 song setlist drew heavily from Bruce’s original songs and various bluegrassy covers such as Uncle Pen. I didn’t get a copy of the setlist but they did almost every song from the upcoming record. A few I remember well were: End Of The innocence, Valley Road, Mandolin Rain, The Way It Is, and the bluegrass standard…..Superfreak. The latter being the Rick James Funk classic done up bluegrass style with excellent three part harmonies (Bruce, Ricky, Paul Brewster). They ran through the 12 numbers, took a short encore break, then came back out and repeated Superfreak, Valley Road, and Mandolin Rain twice. Bruce seemed to be a real stickler about tempo so they slowed down the tempo on the repeats a bit. Ricky was spot-on as always and he has what is arguably the tightest band in bluegrass. Bruce brought along his drummer who played tastefully behind the beat.
Towards the end of the set, Ricky told the crowd that this might be a song you would hear at Bonnaroo, so let the holy ghost move you into getting your groove on, or something to that effect. Many in the crowd did just that, including Ricky’s daughter Molly Skaggs, his wife Sharon White, and father in law Buck White, who spontaneusly started “buck” dancing in the middle of the ailse.
Just when you thought you had seen it all, out strode country crooner John Andersoon to sing a verse of Superfreak, complete with his signature “swingin” thrown in for good measure.
A fantastic show. Word has it they are doing a tour this summer and later into the fall with this same band. Check it out when it rolls through town.
p.s. no idea exactly when CMT plans to air the program or what songs they plan to include.