All-Star Bluegrass Celebration

Various Artists

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All-Star Bluegrass Celebration Review

by Steve Leggett

A pairing of bluegrass legends with a newer generation of bluegrass stars, the All-Star Bluegrass Celebration was recorded live on January 16, 2002, at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN, for a PBS television production. Hosted by Ricky Skaggs, the program featured veterans like Del McCoury, Ralph Stanley, and Earl Scruggs paired with neo-bluegrass performers like Nickel Creek and Alison Krauss. Ralph Stanley steals the show with his signature a cappella version of "Oh Death" and Earl Scruggs is simply amazing on banjo, as always. Other highlights include Bruce Hornsby playing what can only be described as bluegrass piano on the traditional "Darlin' Cory" and the beautiful, wistful "Seven Wonders" by Nickel Creek. Truthfully, this show is best appreciated as a video presentation, where the reverence and respect these musicians share is easily seen. Listeners should be aware that the track listing on the CD cover doesn't correspond to the running order on the disc itself, which is mildly irritating. All the songs are there, though.

blue highlight denotes track pick