Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

King of Kentucky Bluegrass with 15 Grammy Awards


Fairfest at the Sondheim Series

Ticket Information

ZONE 1 | $40
ZONE 2 | $33
ZONE 3 | $25
ZONE 4 | $20

Fifteen-time GRAMMY® Award-winner RICKY SKAGGS' career is easily among the most significant in recent country music history. If Skaggs' burgeoning trophy case full of awards wasn't already enough evidence of that fact, consider that legendary guitarist Chet Atkins once credited Skaggs with "single-handedly saving country music." His life's path has taken him to various musical genres, from where it all began in bluegrass music, to striking out on new musical journeys, while still leaving his musical roots intact.

Born July 18, 1954 in Cordell, Kentucky, Skaggs showed signs of future stardom at an early age, playing mandolin on stage with bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe at 6 and appearing on TV with Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs at 7. He emerged as a professional bluegrass musician in 1971, when he and his friend Keith Whitley were invited to join the legendary Ralph Stanley's band the Clinch Mountain Boys.

Skaggs then went on to record and perform with progressive bluegrass acts like the Country Gentlemen and J.D. Crowe & the New South, whose self-titled 1975 Rounder Records debut album was instantly recognized as a landmark bluegrass achievement. He then led Boone Creek, which also featured Dobro ace and fellow New South alumnus Jerry Douglas.

But Skaggs turned to the more mainstream country music genre in the late '70s when he joined Emmylou Harris's Hot Band, replacing Rodney Crowell. He became a recording artist in his own right in 1981 when his Epic label debut album Waitin' for the Sun to Shine topped the country charts and yielded a pair of #1 hits. Overall, his productive stay at Epic Records would result in a total of 12 #1 hits. Additionally, he garnered eight Country Music Association Awards--including the coveted Entertainer of the Year trophy in 1985.

Skaggs, of course, fit right in with young "new-traditionalist" '80s artists like Randy Travis, and helped rejuvenate the country music genre after the worn-out "Urban Cowboy" period. But, Skaggs put his own stamp on the country format by infusing his bluegrass and traditional country music roots into the contemporary Nashville sound.

Skaggs' 1997 album Bluegrass Rules!, released on his newly-formed Skaggs Family Records label, marked a triumphant return to bluegrass—which he's solidified ever since with a series of GRAMMY® Award winning albums, recorded with his amazing bluegrass band, Kentucky Thunder (8-time winners of the IBMA 'Instrumental Group of the Year'). Skaggs' label has also served as a home for similar bluegrass and roots music-oriented artists including Cherryholmes and The Whites.

Ricky struck his first chords on a mandolin over 50 years ago, and he continues to do his part to lead the recent roots revival in music. Clearly his passion for it puts him in the position to bring his lively, distinctively American form of music out of isolation and into the ears and hearts of audiences across the country and around the world. Ricky Skaggs is always forging ahead with cross-cultural, genre-bending musical ideas and inspirations.


Lori King and Junction 63 formed in Southeast Iowa in 2014.  The band performs mostly traditional bluegrass and gospel with contemporary style tunes mixed in.  Band members are husband and wife team Lori King on upright bass, singing lead and harmony vocals and Joe King on guitar and lead vocals.  On mandolin and vocals is Kevin Amburgey from Ashland, Missouri, Mark Hargrove on banjo and vocals, and Kyle Murphy on fiddle both from Ames, IA.  The band members are multi-award winning instrumentalists and vocalists with high energy, crowd pleasing entertainment, fun and engaging, with a great deal of stage personality.

They have 2 recorded projects to their credit which contains many original songs. Their first album Grandpa's Old Guitar features 10 original songs written by the band and won the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) Midwest album of the year in 2015.  Their 2nd recording "Family Tree" released May 2017 just won the Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa's (BMAI) Album of the Year at the 2nd Annual Awards Show on October 28, 2017.  Find out more about the band by visiting their website at www.junction63.com.

2015 SPBGMA Midwest Awards
6- Nominations  
Awarded: Traditional Band of the Year, Lori- Female Vocalist and Bass Player

2016 SPBGMA Midwest Awards
10- Nominations
Awarded: Vocal Group of the Year, Joe-Guitar Player, Kevin-Mandolin Player

2016 Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa
12- Nominations
Awarded: Band of the Year, Lori- Female Vocalist and Bass Player, Joe- Guitar Player and Songwriter, Band of the Year (Overall)

2017 Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa
13 Nominations 
Awarded: Band of the Year, Lori- Female Vocalist, Joe- Male Vocalist and Guitar Player, Kevin- Mandolin Player

Highlighted Performances:
Silver Dollar City Bluegrass and BBQ Festival-Branson, MO, SPBGMA International Convention- Nashville, TN, SPBGMA Midwest Convention- Jefferson City, MO, Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa Events, Stratford Stride Bluegrass Festival- Stratford, IA