Skaggs, White and Cooder touring together

Ricky Skaggs, Sharon White, and Ry Cooder - photo by Erick Anderson / eafotoA pair of artists whose careers have been marked by unexpected pairings and multi-stylistic collaborations, will be touring later in 2015 with one of the purest voices in country music when Ry Cooder, Sharon White and Ricky Skaggs hit the road together.

Cooder has made his bones as a guitarist/vocalist/producer renowned for capturing authentic roots and folk musics of many types. Among his 17 solo projects are celebrated works of early jazz, blues, Afro-Cuban, and Tex-Mex music. He’s also an aficionado of traditional American string music who is excited about this summer’s venture.

“Cooder-White-Skaggs is the legacy express, or I’ll eat a bug. You are going to hear four-part singing from the heart, the finest and best instrumental activity in the land, songs you know and love and to top it off, the indomitable Buck White on piano who will turn your money green. Now who’s happy? That’s the way we’re gonna stay so knock on wood!”

Skaggs is likewise stoked for the opportunity to perform with a legend.

“Getting to work with Ry Cooder has been a dream of mine for a long time. He is a world-class musician. We met at a GRAMMY Awards show many years ago and thought it would be a blast to do something together sometime, and now we’re getting to create new sounds around old music. But the best part is getting to share the stage every night with my wife and sweetheart Sharon White. My heart is full!”

Bluegrass fans have been following Ricky Skaggs since he was a teenager working with Ralph Stanley, through time with J.D. Crowe, Emmylou Harris, The Whites, and The Country Gentlemen, his stellar traditional country career, and his subsequent return to bluegrass. Throughout, his vocalizing with Sharon has been a major part of his sound.

White has plenty of time working with Ricky, and is similarly pumped about touring with Cooder.

“I always love singing and playing music with Ricky… he’s just my favorite in every way! And we are both so excited to be doing shows this year with Ry Cooder. What an incredible artist! He is truly a ‘one-of-a-kind’ musician! Ricky and I share Ry’s love for traditional country, bluegrass, and old-time gospel music. He is passionate about doing music that is authentic and real. It’s infectious!”

There is a run of shows scheduled in June, followed by further dates in the fall.

  • June 16 – Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Garden
  • June 17 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up Aspen
  • June 19 – Boulder, CO – Chautauqua Auditorium
  • June 21 – Telluride, CO – Telluride Bluegrass Festival
  • June 22 – Denver, CO – Denver Botanic Gardens
  • July 17 – Milwaukee, WI – The Pabst Theater
  • Sept 30 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery
  • Oct 2 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
  • Oct 5 – Arcata, CA – Van Duzer Theatre
  • Oct 6 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
  • Oct 7 – Seattle, WA – The Moore Theatre
  • Nov 10-11 – Alexandria, VA – The Birchmere
  • Nov 14 – New York City, NY – Carnegie Hall
  • Nov 17 – Boston, MA – Berklee Performance Center
  • Nov 18 – Portland, ME – State Theatre

In addition to Buck White on piano, the Cooder/White/Skaggs tour will feature Mark Fain on bass, Ry’s son Joachim Cooder on drums, and Sharon’s sister Cheryl White on harmony vocals.

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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.