“Cluck Ol’ Hen,” the new live bluegrass collaboration between Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard bluegrass chart Thursday.
Recorded mostly at Holland Hall in Omaha, Neb., at the tail end of a tour, “Cluck Ol’ Hen” reunites the two friends, who recorded a studio album in 2007 titled “Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby.”
The live album features a number of classic tunes, such as “How Mountain Girls Can Love” and the title track. What’s most interesting about the album isn’t the fine musicianship on display – that’s not shock, after all – but the easy banter between the two men as they take time to introduce nearly every song.
It speaks to the immense fun the duo has playing with each other and the joy that each gets from performing for a live audience. Nothing can really take the place of seeing live music, but “Cluck Ol’ Hen” is about as close as you can get to sitting front row without leaving the house.
-Owen R. Smith, on Twitter @inanedetails