In an almost inevitable coalition, Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs have joined forces on a new album (released March 2007). I have immense respect for these two artists individually - both are phenomenal musicians, songwriters, performers, and frontmen (in the sense that they each draw amazingly talented musicians to them) - and was intrigued to find them together on stage. Bruce has easily adapted his piano jazz to folk music over the years, playing with the likes of the Grateful Dead and Bele Fleck, and always plays traditional songs on stage. Ricky has bounced back and forth between country and bluegrass and has excelled at both. He is, of course, always known for his fine pickin and a singin. So, it was an easy match to put them together.
I've only heard a couple of songs off the new album (though I intend to pick it up soon), but have to wonder - will this album really be packed with great songs that we've come to expect from Bruce and Ricky individually or will it only be a novel collaboration between two independent artists? I worried in the same way when I heard about the JJ Cale/Eric Clapton project and was blown away by how good it was. I hope Bruce and Ricky can do the same thing. You can decide for yourself.
Check out some live cuts and interviews at AT&T's Blue Room
Here are two great songs of by duo disconnected:
Ricky Skaggs - Uncle Pen [buy it]
Bruce Horsby - Line In the Dust (live 6.30.02) [buy it]