“Rank Strangers” by Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder

Strangers - Just a Number in 1974
Strangers – Just a Number in 1974

For as long as I can remember, I have listened to and loved bluegrass and gospel music. I’m sure a lot of  my love for this music, especially gospel, is due to my mother. Although she didn’t have an angel’s voice, she sounded like an angel to me as she sang gospel songs while she worked around the house. She is gone now, but I’m sure if there is a heaven, she is there sweetly harmonizing with the angels.

I am on the downhill side of fifty-eight years old with fifty-nine clearly in sight and sixty only a New York city block away. While I can’t speak for everyone my age, I can speak about me and my observations from hanging around and speaking to others that are also fast approaching sixty.

Many of us are facing our mortality head on. Unlike when we were young, dumb, and stupid, we no longer think that we are invincible and immortal. Waking up to new and unusual pains in parts of the body that shouldn’t hurt provides a daily reminder that we are just frail humans; not superheroes. Staring straight on at my own mortality has me reflecting a lot about my life; people I’ve known and places I’ve been; the joys and pains that have enriched me; my deep abiding love for my sweetheart, my soul-mate, and my three wonderful sons; and my passions.

Over the years, as I read and studied writing, on my own and in classes and workshops, “…write about your passions” was something I heard over and over. Facing my own mortality is helping me find and embrace the things I am truly passionate about. One is my passion for bluegrass music. As I continue to write and post to this blog, one of my goals is to share this passion with anyone who cares to read, learn, and listen to what I share.

Many bluegrass musicians play spiritual numbers. Now, don’t hold me to this as a fact, since I haven’t actually researched and verified this, but I believe some of the propensity to play spiritual songs is partly due to the roots of bluegrass in the mountains of Appalachia and the Scots-Irish mountain folks singing old hymns mixed with the harmonies, instruments and styles they brought with them from their homelands.

The song I am sharing this morning is just such a spiritual number. Realizing that WordPress represents a global audience with differing religious beliefs, please try to disregard the fact that this song is from a Christian point of view. The belief is not important – the song is. Listen to the singing and the music, especially the sweet harmonies of Ricky and the boys from Kentucky Thunder.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I love it.

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