Sing the Songs of Bill Monroe

Ricky Skaggs

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Sing the Songs of Bill Monroe Review

by Zac Johnson

Featuring an all-star lineup of country and rock's biggest names, Ricky Skaggs' heartfelt tribute to bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe is well-intended but a little too slick. Featuring artists like Mary Chapin Carpenter, the Chicks, Charlie Daniels, John Fogerty, Bruce Hornsby, Patty Loveless, Joan Osborne, Dolly Parton, Travis Tritt, Steve Wariner, the Whites, and Dwight Yoakam, it is made overwhelmingly clear that the music of Monroe has made an impact on many different musical genres. Unfortunately, the genre that this CD is lacking is bluegrass; the listener has to wait until the last track (the scattered "Big Mon") to hear some real pickers like J.D. Crowe and members of the Del McCoury Band perform traditional down-home music. There is no one else in the music industry who works harder to bring traditional American bluegrass to the mainstream audience, but unfortunately the vehicle it arrives in usually ends up being a new Cadillac, not the sturdy 1943 Ford pickup it belongs in. [This album was originally released on Skaggs' own Skaggs Family Records under the title Big Mon, and was re-released on Disney's Lyric Street imprint under the title Sing the Songs of Bill Monroe with one additional track.]

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