One of Billboard’s most-anticipated Country albums of the fall, A SKAGGS FAMILY CHRISTMAS VOLUME TWO, will be available in stores nationwide next Tuesday, September 27. The new, 10-song CD features both studio and live recordings, and includes performances of traditional seasonal favorites and new compositions that are sure to become holiday treasures.
To celebrate the album’s release, Ricky and The Whites will appear at an in-store signing event at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on September 27 (11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) and later that day, they’ll sign autographs from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. in the Skaggs Family Records’ Booth (#416) at the IBMA 2011 World of Bluegrass being held at the Nashville Convention Center. Skaggs, a 14-time Grammy® winner, will also entertain fans on Wednesday, September 28 when he and Kentucky Thunder join the Bill Monroe Tribute Show being held at Vanderbilt University’s Ingram Hall at 7 p.m.
A SKAGGS FAMILY CHRISTMAS VOLUME TWO features Ricky, his wife Sharon and their children (Luke and Molly), Buck and Cheryl White, and Cheryl’s daughter, Rachel Leftwich, part of the Skaggs’ extended family and members of a celebrated musical clan in their own right. Also highlighted are world-renowned Kentucky Thunder and The Nashville Strings. The disc kicks off with the upbeat bluegrass arrangement of “Christmas Time’s A Coming,” which segues smoothly to showcase Sharon White Skaggs and her sister, Cheryl, trading lead vocals on the bright, acoustic, “Light of the Stable.” An a capella version of “The First Noel” finds Ricky singing lead, while the signature vocals of the White sisters excel on the high and low harmonies. Heavenly voices rise in praise on the classic seasonal favorite,“Silent Night,” which also features a poignant mandolin and soaring strings. Molly Skaggs shines on “What Songs Were Sung,” proving she’s more than worthy to carry on the families’ traditions, while brother Luke burns up the fret on his own composition, the intricate instrumental, “Flight To Egypt.” The modern “Reunion Song” features a deceptively-simple sing-along melody, and Ricky not only triumphs on the lead vocal, but also plays Guitars, Mandolin, Gut String Solo and Dan Electro. Skaggs’ lightning-fast finger pickin’ guitar lick jump-starts “Children Go” and the vocal interplay between the family members (Ricky, Buck, Sharon and Cheryl) should leave listeners breathless. A haunting, original arrangement and expressive vocals by Luke, Molly and Rachel highlight “Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel,”and the disc closes with a classical instrumental interpretation of “Joy To The World.”
As a bonus, A SKAGGS FAMILY CHRISTMAS LIVE (DVD) is included with the purchase of the CD. The DVD features the family’s heartwarming holiday concert, recorded live in Nashville at the historic Ryman Auditorium. The three generations have taken this special show on the road for the last eight years, and the tradition continues this year, with the troupe performing at a variety of venues throughout the holiday season, including:
11/28/1 Brooks Center for the Performing Arts / Clemson, SC
11/30/11 The Paramount Theater / Charlottesville, VA
12/01/11 Music Center at Strathmore / N. Bethesda, MD
12/02/11 Historic Tennessee Theatre / Knoxville, TN
12/10/11 Honeywell Center / Wabash, IN
12/11/11 Niswonger PAC of NW Ohio / Van Wert, OH
12/17/11 Smokey Mtn. Performing Arts Center / Franklin, NC
12/22/11 Schermerhorn Symphony Center / Nashville, TN
“We started singing these songs in our living room all those years ago, with no idea that we would ever take A Skaggs Family Christmas to so many places,” explains Sharon. “We’ve performed everywhere from churches to symphony halls to the National Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington D.C., where we sang for President George W. Bush. The recording process, the performing and traveling has been so much fun! It has been such a blessing to share all of this as a family.”
Explore the history of the Skaggs Family and more at www.skaggsfamilyrecords.com.