Personnel: Ricky Skaggs (vocals, acoustic guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, sleigh bell, background vocals); Buck White (vocals, mandolin, piano, background vocals); Cheryl White, Sharon White (vocals, background vocals); Cody Kilby (guitar, acoustic guitar, gut-string guitar); Luke Skaggs (guitar, background vocals); David Hungate (guitar); Jim Mills (banjo); Andy Leftwich (mandola, fiddle, viola); The Nashville String Machine (strings); Jeff Taylor (pennywhistle, accordion, piano); Tom Roady (percussion); Molly Skaggs (vocals, dulcimer, piano, background vocals); Rachel White.
Additional personnel: The Whites.
Audio Mixer: Brent King.
Liner Note Authors: Ricky Skaggs; Cheryl White; Sharon White; Buck White.
Recording information: Skaggs Place Recording Studio, Hendersonville, TN.
Photographer: Erick Anderson .
If one expects to find solid acoustic picking, striking vocals, and a number of religious carols on A Skaggs Family Christmas, they would be exactly right. If one also expects the album to be something of a family affair, they would be right again. Ricky Skaggs states that the project started in the family living room and, from there, grew to include a number of holiday concerts and finally a recording. Skaggs is joined by Sharon White, Molly Skaggs, Luke Skaggs, Buck White, and the members of his band, Kentucky Thunder. The set list hits all the important seasonal high, from carefree fun ("Let It Snow") to traditional ("Little Drummer Boy") to contemporary sentiment ("Christmas Time Is Here"). There's nifty instrumental work on "Deck the Halls" and outstanding harmony on "Hangin' Round the Mistletoe" and even recitations on "The Christmas Guest." With a long list of lead vocalists from Ricky Skaggs to Sharon White to Buck White to Molly Skaggs, this is something of an all-star group. The collection, however, has none of the overtones of an all-star collection, trafficking instead in old-fashioned family values anchored by religion. For those looking for tuneful sincerity, A Skaggs Family Christmas has it by the stocking full. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.