Its been a few years since the Skaggs clan has done its Christmas thing at the Ryman, and their return is a welcome one, for theres unlikely to be a more satisfying seasonal show anywhere in Music City. Building a set list around the 2005 Skaggs Family Records release of the same name, the ever-shaggier Skaggs and his extended familyfrom father-in-law Buck White through daughter Molly, son Luke and fiddling nephew-in-law (and Kentucky Thunder bandmember) Andy Leftwichcelebrate with a distinctive combination of down-home, living-room flavor and sublime musicianship. Not surprisingly, the show leans heavily on traditional favorites, but there are some unusual delights as well, like Grandpa Jones otherwise neglected recitation The Christmas Guest and a nifty uptown take on Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. And as the older generations of the family ease into patriarchal and matriarchal status, its good to see the youngsters coming on strong too.
Tue., Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m., 2009