This isn’t simply a Ricky Skaggs solo album, it’s really a Ricky Skaggs solo album—for harmonies, he double-tracks his own voice; for extra instruments, he overdubs them—twelve different ones total, all acoustic but for the Danelectro electric bass. The repertoire’s the thing, though, drawn, as the title indicates, from songs bequeathed him by his guitar- playing dad. Several are traditional, a handful are from familiar writers—Alfred Brumley, Roy Acuff, Ralph Stanley—and all are deeply rooted in spiritual matters, with the overt gospel numbers mostly concerned with escaping the evils of this world in anticipation of heavenly redemption. That said, some celebratory moments do surface, mostly by way of traditional instrumentals, like the fiddle- fired, rollicking “Colonel Prentiss,” on which Ricky becomes an entire multi- piece band, and the lively fiddle-and- banjo workout, “Calloway.”
Vocally, Ricky adopts a dark, stark, heavy timbre, sounding much like Marty Stuart at times. As producer, Ricky keeps the soundscape uncluttered and airy, lending his voice added presence without subverting the instrumentals. The effect is to present one man alone with his music, his memories, and his spirituality, with dad’s spirit aloft, beatifically smiling, well pleased with his son.