Hooked on Bluegrass

Shawn Lane

The first thing that hooked me on bluegrass was a recording of a lesser known fiddle player named Chubby Collier. I had a cassette tape of him which I used to learn how to play the fiddle.

Then, I heard the Bluegrass Album Band. I have all of the Bluegrass Albums, but I heard Volume Three, with “Devil in Disguise” and Volume One first. That music really hit me hard, and was as big an influence as anything could ever be.

From there I got into Ricky Skaggs. I started listening to his country stuff, then kind of back peddled through his career and listening to things he had done with people like JD Crowe and Ralph Stanley. I just loved Ricky's lead and tenor singing. I think he re-invented tenor singing, and has been a big influence on the way tenor singing is done today. He was a real innovator. In 1994 I got to work all year with him in his band, Kentucky Thunder. I learned a ton of stuff from him musically, and personally. Ricky has been a huge influence on me.

I like to play mandolin and fiddle, and I also play a lot of guitar at home. The past seven or eight years I have been writing songs, something I was not doing when I first started playing music. Writing songs is now a big part of the fun in music for me, and it is so gratifying to see people enjoy what you have written and recorded.

(posted 8/2/2008)

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