Tickets for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder concert at Trine on sale starting Nov. 30

Trine University will welcome Grammy Award-winning and Country Music Hall of Fame artist Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder to Ryan Concert Hall stage at the T. Furth Center for Performing Arts on Friday, May 24.

The concert will start at 8 p.m., with doors open one hour prior to the performance. Tickets, which go on sale at trine.edu/furth beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 30, range from $40-$60.

Born July 18, 1954, in Cordell, Kentucky, Ricky Skaggs received his first mandolin at age 5 after his father, Hobert, heard him harmonizing with his mother from across the house as he played with his toys. Two weeks after teaching him the G, C and D chords, Hobert returned from working out of town shocked to see his young son making chord changes and singing along. At age 7, Ricky performed with bluegrass legends Flatt & Scruggs on their popular syndicated television show, earning his first paycheck for a musical performance.

In 1971, he entered professional music as a band member for bluegrass patriarch Ralph Stanley. Ricky soon began to build a reputation for creativity and excitement through live appearances and recordings with acts such as J. D. Crowe & the New South. A stint as a bandleader with Boone Creek followed, bringing the challenges of leadership while giving him further recording and performing experience.

In the late 1970s, Ricky turned his attention to country music. Though still in his 20s, the wealth of experience and talent he possessed served him well, first as a member of Emmylou Harris' Hot Band and later as an individual recording artist on his own. With the release of Waitin' for the Sun to Shine in 1981, Skaggs reached the top of the country charts and remained there throughout most of the 1980s, resulting in a total of 12 #1 hits. In 1982, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, the youngest to ever be inducted at that time. As his popularity soared, he garnered eight awards from the Country Music Association (CMA), including "Entertainer of the Year" in 1985, four Grammy Awards, and dozens of other honors.

In 1997, as Ricky's recording contract ended, he decided to establish his own record label - Skaggs Family Records. Since then, Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder have released an amazing 12 consecutive Grammy-nominated classics, (eight of which went on to earn the revered award) while also opening the label to other musical artists, all the time keeping emphasis on bluegrass and other forms of roots music.

Skaggs counts the current configuration of Kentucky Thunder among the best group of musicians he has ever worked with. "This group of guys meets my approval every night," Ricky says.  "Each and every one of the pickers in Kentucky Thunder totally amazes me in every show...and that, to me, outweighs any award we could ever win." The all-star lineup of Kentucky Thunder includes Paul Brewster (tenor vocals, rhythm guitar), Russ Carson (banjo), Jake Workman (lead guitar), Mike Barnett (fiddle), Dennis Parker (baritone vocals, guitar) and Jeff Picker (bass, bass vocals).

Cross pollination has been a mainstay throughout Ricky's career, from his weekly collaborations with various artists as host of The Nashville Network's Monday Night Concerts in the 1990s to his recent pairings with Bruce Hornsby and The Whites. He has also demonstrated wizardry in the studio, producing not only his records but sets from acts such as The Whites and Dolly Parton, as well as the recent Love Remains disc from Hillary Scott & The Scott Family, which, as producer, won him his 15th Grammy.

All these talents and gifts culminated in country music’s greatest honor, as Skaggs was chosen to be forever immortalized in the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame as a member-elect in the class of 2018.

For more information on the concert, visit trine.edu/furth.