White-Cooder-Skaggs: Grand Finale, Telluride Bluegrass

White-Cooder-Skaggs: Grand Finale, Telluride Bluegrass

Please scroll down to bottom of story about Sharon White and the White-Cooder-Skaggs Trio to hear an interview with Sharon White.

As a member of the beloved country-gospel family band known as The Whites, Sharon White (guitar, vocals) was just a kid when she began performing in her parents’ band, the Down Home Folks: Sharon and her sister Cheryl White (bass, vocals), and their parents Pat White (vocals) and Buck White (vocals, mandolin, piano). The Down Home Folks recorded five bluegrass-tinged albums in the 1970s. After Pat White retired from performing in 1973, Buck, Sheryl and Sharon White continued to make music together, now for more than 40 years.

Cooder-White-Skaggs Trio

Cooder-White-Skaggs Trio

The Whites have been esteemed members of the Grand Ole Opry since 1984, appearing on the world-famous stage nearly every weekend, and Sharon White and her family trio became well known for their string of country hits in the 1980s, including “Hangin’ Around,” “Give Me Back That Old Familiar Feeling,” and “Pins and Needles.” With the release of Hearts Like Ours (2014), a dream came true for Sharon and husband, country and bluegrass music legend Ricky Skaggs. This first-ever studio album was produced by Skaggs and White and features the couple dueting on handpicked country love songs.

Both with The Whites and as a solo artist, Sharon White, known to possess one of the purest voices in country music, has won multiple tributes, including Grammy, CMA, and Dove Awards.

Fresh from concerts in Salt Lake City (Red Butte Garden), June 16; Aspen (Belly Up Aspen), June 17; and in Boulder (Chautauqua Auditorium),June 19;  and Sunday night, June 21, the trio of country music legends and multi-instrumentalists Sharon White, Ricky Skaggs and Ry Cooder, bring the curtain down on the 42nd annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival (and then they head to the Mile High City to perform June 22 at the Denver Botanic Gardens.)

The Telluride Bluegrass grand finale will also feature Sharon’s father Buck, who first played Telluride in 1981 and 1982, along with Jerry Douglas, the new kid on the block on the Whites’s first album as the Whites, Old Familiar Feeling, released in 1983. Sister Cheryl will also be sitting in, as will Ry’s son Joachim Cooder on drums. Mark Fain will be on bass.

“Getting to work with Ry Cooder has been a dream of mine for a long time. He is a world-class musician,” noted Ricky Skaggs. “We met at a Grammy Awards show many years ago and thought it would be a blast to do something together sometime, and now we’re getting to create new sounds around old music. But the best part is getting to share the stage every night with my wife and sweetheart Sharon White. My heart is full!

“I always love singing and playing music with Ricky…  He’s just my favorite in every way!” said Sharon White.  “And we are both so excited to be doing shows this year with Ry Cooder. What an incredible artist! He is truly a ‘one-of-a-kind’ musician! Ricky and I share Ry’s love for traditional country, bluegrass, and old-time gospel music. He is passionate about doing music that is authentic and real and that’s infectious!”

“‘Cooder-White-Skaggs’ is the legacy express, or I’ll eat a bug,” quipped Cooder. “You are going to hear four-part singing from the heart, the finest and best instrumental activity in the land, songs you know and love and to top it off, the indomitable Buck White on piano who will turn your money green. Now who’s happy? That’s the way we’re gonna stay so knock on wood!”

More about Ricky Skaggs:

Over a career spanning 40+ years, Ricky Skaggs has won 14 Grammys,  eight CMA Awards, nine ACM Awards, 11 IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Assn.) Awards, nine ICM Awards, two Dove Awards, three honorary doctorate degrees and countless other honors. Ricky has had 12 #1 singles on the Billboard country charts and 12 Top 20 country albums, along with 12 consecutive Grammy-nominated albums, all on his own Skaggs Family Records label.

In 2012, Ricky Skaggs was inducted into the GMA’s Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Past recipients of this prestigious award include Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton. That same year, Ricky received the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award from the Academy of Country Music (ACM).

In 2013, Grand Ole Opry member Ricky Skaggs released his first-ever autobiography, “Kentucky Traveler: My Life In Music.” The book details the life and times of Skaggs and provides a descriptive history of country and bluegrass music, told by the master himself.

More about Ry Cooder:

Ry Cooder is a virtuoso roots guitarist who is steeped in the blues, but has spent much of his career exploring new musical worlds from Tex-Mex to Cuban bolero. Ry has won 6 Grammy awards, most recently for Best Traditional Latin Album (2003) and Best Pop Instrumental Album (2003).

In 1997, Ry Cooder traveled to Cuba to produce and play with a group of musicians with little exposure outside their homeland. The resulting album, Buena Vista Social Club, was a platinum-selling international success that made stars of Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, and Ruben Gonzalez, and earned Cooder another Grammy.

Ry has collaborated with a wide variety of artists over the years including Flaco Jiménez, The Chieftains, Ali Farka Toure, John Hassell and Manuel Galban. He has written scores for over 16 major motion pictures for directors for Walter Hill, Mike Nichols, Louie Malle, Tony Richardson and Wim Wenders.  In 2011, City Lights published his critically acclaimed book “Los Angeles Stories.”

Ry Cooder has released 17 solo records since 1970 as well as several compilations.

“We’ve been inviting Ry Cooder to Telluride Bluegrass for 20 years,” said Planet Bluegrass marketing director Brian Eyster. “Eureka.”

To learn more about Sharon White and the White-Skaggs-Cooder tour, click the “play button and listen to our conversation.

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