Cooder, White, Skaggs Burn Brightly At The Ryman
Taking in a show at the Ryman Auditorium is an otherworldly experience. Doesn’t matter if it’s a full band, singer/songwriter or when three giants of music decide they are going to tour together. That’s what you got why Ry Cooder, Sharon White and Ricky Skaggs put on an amazing and ethereal set at the Ryman. This is a show that was a few years in the making, word has it that Cooder just showed up at Skaggs house a few years ago and said “let’s make music, but if I’m on your record don’t mention it. Oh and then we go on tour.” Sounds like something would say.
Backed by Sharon’s dad and sister along with two member’s of Skaggs band, Kentucky Thunder that started out with the bluegrass/gospel classic, “Family Who Prays,” if it didn’t feel like old time church, it sure did when Cooder added a salty verse to “Lifeboat,” where Skaggs traded licks and verses.
There wasn’t a genre they didn’t take on. Everything though came back to the sonically perfect sound of Skaggs mandolin, White’s vocal harmony and Cooder..well just being Ry Cooder. “Old Home Place,” “Kin Folks in Carolina,” and “Big Wheel,” where the highlights and given such an amazing treatment, you forget where those songs came from.
Of course there was a two song encore that I think they called an encore on. “Unload” and “Reunion,” brought the whole sound together in what had to be one of the tightest shows to in Nashville in some time. Ry Cooder, Sharon White and Ricky Skaggs proved for nearly two hours what passion for your craft and music sound like.
It wouldn’t be a Nashville show, though without an amazing opening set. 7 or is it 8 time CMA Musician of the Year, Mac McAnally had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand with his sick guitar playing and storytelling. The Mississippian brought the crowd to its feet with his one guitar version of the Duane Allman/Dickey Betts classic “Little Martha.”
photo credit. Kelly E Schultz/k3schultz.com