Tyler Childers Calls on Hometown Hero Ricky Skaggs at Ryman Auditorium Show [WATCH]
During the third night (Feb. 15) of his four-night Ryman Auditorium stand, Tyler Childers called on a hometown hero: bluegrass great Ricky Skaggs. After introducing his surprise guest, Childers and Skaggs -- along with Saturday night's opening act, Larry Cordle -- kicked things off with a rousing rendition of "Highway 40 Blues."
Skaggs didn't bow out after just one song, though; on the contrary, he stayed onstage for a couple more feature numbers, then simply joined Childers' band as they returned to their planned setlist. Press play above to watch their performance of "Tennessee Blues."
The song began with some technical difficulties, as Skaggs struggled to get his electric guitar hooked up as the piano vamped behind him. "Plug it in!" screamed one particularly husky voice amongst the impressively rowdy, engaged Ryman crowd.
"When you play mandolin, you don't have this problem," Skaggs explained with a smile.
The hiccups were all part of the improvisatory nature of the show: Soon enough, Childers, Skaggs and Childers' band, the Food Stamps, were able to jump into "Tennessee Blues," much to the delight of the audience.
Kentucky's finest musical exports were something of a theme during Childers' Saturday night show, as Skaggs, Childers and Cordle hail not only from the same state, but from the very same county. "We're having a Lawrence County party," Childers told the crowd from stage.
After the show, Childers reflected to Instagram about how much it meant to bring Skaggs to the stage during his Ryman residency. "My first concert was Ricky Skaggs at Poage Landing when I was 5 years old. I told him I'd just got a guitar, and he told me to stick with it," Childers wrote. "Last night we played a bunch songs together. Lawrence Co. was well represented last night."
It was a busy night for Skaggs, who also played a set at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday. During his Ryman cameo, though, he was anything but tired: He stayed several songs later than, it appeared, they'd planned on, and seemed reluctant to finally leave the stage.
Elsewhere in his Ryman set, Childers highlighted new material from his 2019 album, Country Squire, and treated a voracious, rabidly enthusiastic crowd to full-band favorites including "White House Road" and a slim acoustic segment featuring the haunting "Nose on the Grindstone."
The singer made the final appearance of his Ryman residency on Sunday night (Feb. 16), finishing up two sets of back-to-back nights that started on Feb. 6 and 7. "It feels like just like weekend I was at the Ryman," Childers joked when he took the stage on Saturday night.
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