Opening for Ricky Skaggs at the Augusta Civic Center in
by Ryan Thomson
As a folk performer, I'm usually performing at small venues, so this was a real treat for me.
Ricky Skaggs is known far and wide for his great music. I had been playing weekends with a
Texas swing/country band in Maine who were striving for the big time. We had performed
several times as back up band for Hank
Thompson when he toured in New England.
Hank and I backstage after a show
Hank is a big name in western swing music
with lots of country music hits, and career record sales of over 40 million albums sold. Most
of the places we played were smaller venues, but classy for rural Maine.
The Augusta Civic Center, on the other hand, seats several thousand people. I found it
exciting to be playing fiddle with a nine piece country band in front of such a large
audience. Our grand finale tune was the inevitable "Orange Blossom Special," which I played
at the maximum speed of our drummer. After Ricky's band performed, I got to spend some
time visiting with him and he gave me a picture of himself autographed to "Captain Fiddle."
Written by Ryan Thomson, 1996