Both the DVD and the CD of this live show, recorded onstage at the revered Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, are absolutely indispensable to any lover of Bluegrass music. I mean, the cream of the crop of today’s pickers are on hand, and the performances are as powerful as Kentucky Thunder (pun intended) and as smooth as Tennessee whiskey.
Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder kick things off with “Shady Grove,” and Ricky Pops back up a few times over the course of the show, including duets with Patty Loveless (“Daniel Played”), Travis Tritt (“Little Georgia Rose”) and both Travis and Patty (“Uncle Pen”).
The cool pairings don’t end there. Vince Gill brings his smooth voice into The Del McCoury Band for “Crying Holy (Unto The Lord)” and the results are beautiful. Del and the boys deliver a pair of great favorites, “!952 Vincent Black Lightning” and the harmony laden “Get Down On Your Knees and Pray.”
Alison Krauss performs the beautiful “Let Me Touch You For Awhile” with Union Station and the one and only Jerry Douglas, and Earl Scruggs rips it up on his classic “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.”
Also along for the ride are greats like Dr. Ralph Stanley (“O Death”) , Nickel Creek and Bruce Hornsby.
The DVD features three additional performances not featured on the CD, one by Earl Scruggs, one by Ralph Stanley and an extra group finale. (There are two all-star finales on the CD.) The title says it all - “All-Star Bluegrass Celebration.” If your grass is blue, this one’s for you.
-Michael Buffalo Smith