Ricky Skaggs’ CMA Awards Performance Becomes an All-Star Picking Contest
One has to stretch to recall a time there was so much pure musical genius on the CMA Awards stage as there was during Ricky Skaggs' performance on Wednesday night (Nov. 14).
The Country Music Hall of Famer was joined by Keith Urban, Brothers Osborne and Brad Paisley, and then the fun began. A highlight was watching Paisley's wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley nodding along in approval as her husband chicken-picked on electric during "Country Boy," the third song in the medley. Marty Stuart then came in on mandolin. Relative newcomer Carson Peters joined on fiddle and finally, Sierra Hull. The two youngsters held up nicely alongside so many legends.
"Black-Eyed Suzie" and "Highway 40 Blues" opened the medley. Skaggs is a former CMA Entertainer of the Year who prior to the show recalled his favorite moment from his history at the ceremony. It came when Deana Carter ran across the stage and leapt into his arms after winning an award for "Strawberry Wine" in 1997.
Skaggs was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in October. He's been a bluegrass star in recent years after a long career singing more mainstream country music. You'll find him often at the Grand Ole Opry and his performance recalled a more traditional time in country music. More modern performers surrounded him during the 2018 CMAs — if a commercial break and the Album of the Year award hadn't separated him from Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha, it'd have been very strange — but this deserved spotlight more than held its own.
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