Ricky Skaggs / Bruce Hornsby

Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby

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Although Ricky Skaggs gets top billing, it's 1980s adult contemporary star Bruce Hornsby who does most of the work on their bluegrass-themed duet album, RICKY SKAGGS AND BRUCE HORNSBY. Hornsby wrote five of the album's eleven songs, including a remake of his early hit "Mandolin Rain," and his jazz-influenced piano playing is at the heart of these largely acoustic tunes. The duo shines, though, on the handful of traditional folk and bluegrass songs, such as "Hills of Mexico" and "Across the Rocky Mountain," but it's a giggly reworking of Rick James's "Super Freak" that reveals the casual looseness and good humor of the session as a whole.

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