Ricky Skaggs releases Mosaic, a Christian album
Ricky Skaggs, the legendary bluegrass music artist, released recently his first fully Christian-themed album, Mosaic.
Largely known for secular music that he plays in casinos, beer joints, clubs and fairs, his fans have always been fully informed of his Christian faith. “I’m a Christian and I believe the truth of the Bible. I try to live it every day of my life. It’s not something I put on like a suit of clothes,” he said, “But it’s not a preachy thing. I like to do music that’s inspired,” The Wall Street Journal said.
While the multi-awarded musician (14 Grammys and once Billboard magazine’s Artist of the Year) says “All my music is for the glory of God,” Mosaic is the first time that he fully explores his Christianity, The Wall Street Journal said.
The songs in Mosaic were all written by Skaggs, or co-written with co-producer Gordon Kennedy. The Nashville-based Kennedy has worked with major artists like Amy Grant, Eric Clapton, Carrie Underwood and other luminaries, American Songwriter said.
Skaggs and Kennedy do most of the vocals, with some sung by Skaggs’ daughter Molly, and legendary George Beverly Shea. Skaggs also plays a number of instruments he doesn’t ordinarily play such as the banjo and the bouzouki, American Songwriter said.
Previous recordings had gospel songs like “Sinners, You Better Get Ready,” “Remember the Cross,” “God Holds the Future in His Hands” and “This World is Not My Home.” But they were safe ventures in that they were largely the bluegrass recordings that fans love. Mosaic is a departure from that, The Wall Street Journal said.
Skaggs is able to take a risk with Mosaic because he is distributing it on his own label. This time he records without his band Kentucky Thunder and the tracks are not standard bluegrass and country. This time he goes more country pop, The Wall Street Journal said.
Songs include “My Cup Runneth Over,” with Peter Frampton playing a guitar solo, and the folk ballad “Shepherd’s Voice,” where Skaggs plays the banjo. “Someday Soon” is a ballad with Mike Lawler on organ, and “Instead” is introduced by 101-year-old gospel singer George Beverly Shea who intones, “All Rise.” Skaggs, with the amazing signature voice he is distinguished for, sings “A Work of Love” with just a piano accompaniment by Shane Keister, The Wall Street Journal said.
“Fire From the Sky,” the album’s centerpiece song, is inspired by the Bible’s Books of Kings’ story where Elijah asks God to send fire from heaven to light a sacrifice he has made. The track is concluded with Shea reading “I’d Rather Have Jesus” at the end, The Wall Street Journal said.
Skaggs decided to take the risk with Mosaic on his own label because when he was with a major label, “I was busy honoring Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs instead of looking in my own backyard. I’d never been able to give Him the honor,” The Wall Street Journal said.