November 12, 2008
Skaggs, Statman Plan Apocalyptic Mandolin Extravaganza To Bring End Times to Bluegrass
“The second coming of Bill Monroe is upon us,” says religious odd couple
NASHVILLE — Multi-Grammy winner and devout Christian Ricky Skaggs is teaming up with Klezmer and bluegrass luminary Andy Statman, an Orthodox Jew, in a mandolin concert the two men agree will likely bring about End Times of Bluegrass, fulfilling the prophecy of the Rapture and subsequent Second Coming of Monroe.
The two men, both primarily mandolinists, have been close allies since their 2002 meeting in New York City, where Statman resides. Their somewhat unlikely friendship hinges on their mutual worship of the same God, and deep commitment to His principles.
“Deep down, we both pray to the same Daddy,” said Skaggs as he introduced Statman before a recent house concert at the Skaggs residence in Nashville, TN.
By “Daddy,” Skaggs was, of course, referring to the Holy Father of Bluegrass, mandolinist and singer Bill Monroe, whose tragic 1997 death was largely overshadowed by the assassination of Tupac Shakur in the same week.
“With our combined passion and mandolin prowess, Ricky and I can summon the Holy Spirit of Monroe, but only if our own spirits are worthy,” said Statman. “Our whole lives have been building to this epic concert event.”
Statman’s radical style fuses traditional brilliance of tone with free-jazz atonality, and he is known to often perform in a deep trance. During his rise to stardom in the 1970’s he was largely viewed as the bluegrass anti-Christ.
Skaggs retired from the morally bankrupt world of country music in the 1990’s with the stated goal of preserving the spirit of Bill Monroe’s music. Since then, he has lead his bluegrass band Kentucky Thunder, earning innumerable musical accolades and releasing a string of critically acclaimed albums, both secular and gospel.
But this upcoming event aims to establish Skaggs as the true Second Coming of Bill Monroe.
“With our mandolins, we will create an cataclysmic musical battle between good and evil, at which point the second coming of Bill Monroe will lead us to mandolin rapture,” says Skaggs in the publicity material for the event.
“True believers in Monroe will ascend to mandolin heaven, while the false hearted will be left behind in a miserable bluegrass wasteland.”