Ricky Skaggs & Tony Rice Skaggs & Rice

Before Ricky Skaggs was a solo artist, he was a key member in Emmylou Harris's Hot Band, one of the most acclaimed country/bluegrass bands of the '70s. Tony Rice is a name that may not be as well known to casual bluegrass fans, although he was a prominent member of J.D. Crowe's the New South, and later the David Grisman Quartet. 1980 saw the two join together to record an album of acoustic country duets for Sugar Hill. The record was hailed at its release as an essential recording for fans of old-time country recordings, and upon its re-release it still manages to maintain that status. This new re-release has been re-mastered from the original tapes, but more importantly than that it has been made available to a new of legion of country and insurgent country fans that might have either been too young or simply uninterested the first time around. The material covered on the record is mostly traditional bluegrass fare, along with a few choice covers by the Stanley Brothers and the godfather of bluegrass, Bill Monroe, but the way that Skaggs and Rice cover the material is the treat. Taking a completely acoustic approach, they sing together in harmony throughout the album's ten tracks, accompanied only by guitar and mandolin. It is the simplicity of it all that makes the record so special. (Sugar Hill)