The music legend who revived modern
bluegrass music, Ricky Skaggs, gives a warm, honest, one-of-a-kind
memoir of forty years in music—along with the Ten Commandments of
Bluegrass, as handed down by Ricky’s mentor Bill Monroe; the Essential
Guide to Bedrock Country Songs, a lovingly compiled walk through the
songs that have moved Skaggs the most throughout his life; Songs the
Lord Taught Us, a primer on Skaggs’s most essential gospel songs; and a
bevy of personal snapshots of his musical heroes. For readers of Johnny
Cash’s autobiography, lovers of O Brother Where Art Thou
, and fans of country music and bluegrass, Kentucky Traveler
is a priceless look at America’s most cherished and vibrant musical tradition through the eyes of someone who has lived it.
To purchase the book, please click HERE
An honest, deeply American story of the power of faith, family, and
music from one of America's most beloved bluegrass and country artists.
Unlike other farm boys growing up in the small town of Cordell,
Kentucky, Ricky Skaggs learned to play the mandolin at five years old.
Sure, plenty of other mountain boys plucked guitars or fiddles, or
learned the old songs their grandparents taught them. But few tried and
fewer still mastered the mandolin. By the time he was six years old,
Ricky Skaggs's talent was clear enough that his daddy knew he had to get
that boy onstage. When bluegrass master and mandolin virtuoso Bill
Monroe rolled into a nearby small town, Ricky was there. As the crowd
cheered, "Let little Ricky sing one!" so began a storied life in music.
With Bill Monroe as a mentor and with a family who supported him at
every turn, Ricky joined the Clinch Mountain Boys band and became a
professional musician at age fifteen. By twenty-one he was already
considered a star in the bluegrass world. Yet, following the advice of
music industry executives, Skaggs moved away from his roots into the
world of mainstream country music—and in doing so, became a country
legend and a household name.
Despite the hit singles, gold records, and successful tours, Ricky knew
there was more to his mission. With a failed marriage and a sometimes
strained relationship with his children, Ricky had to make a choice. He
would follow God's plan, and rededicate his life to Christ, to his
family, and to the music that made him. He would carry the torch lit by
his musical heroes Ralph Stanley, Earl Scruggs, and Bill Monroe and,
most important, live the life and play the music that would make his mom
and dad proud. Telling the intimate stories of a successful career
built on passion, drive, and faith, sharing tales of his influences, and
fondly recalling the instruments that have shaped his sound over the
years and the friendships that have shaped his life, Skaggs paints a
unique insider look at the evolution of bluegrass.