All-Star Tribute Album to Bill Monroe Out Aug. 29

The Dixie Chicks, Bruce Hornsby, John Fogerty, Joan Osborne, Travis Tritt and Dolly Parton are among the several stars paying tribute to Bill Monroe on the forthcoming album, Big Mon. Produced by Ricky Skaggs for his Skaggs Family Records label, the album is due out Aug. 29.

Big Mon, which has been in progress since late last year, contains 13 songs Monroe either wrote or featured in his enormous repertoire.

The songs and the artists performing them are:

“Darlin’ Corey,” Bruce Hornsby; “Cry, Cry Darlin’,” Dolly Parton; “Heavy Traffic Ahead,” Steve Wariner; “Close By,” Patty Loveless; “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” John Fogerty; “Used to Be,” the Whites; “Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine,” the Dixie Chicks and Ricky Skaggs; “My Little Georgia Rose,” Travis Tritt (who also does a banjo solo on this number); “I Am a Pilgrim,” Charlie Daniels; “Old Kentucky Shore,” Joan Osborne and Ricky Skaggs; “Blue Night,” Mary Chapin Carpenter; “Rocky Road Blues,” Dwight Yoakam; and “Big Mon,” an instrumental by an ad hoc group dubbed “The Red Hot Chili Pickers.”

(The Red Hots are fiddlers Bobby Hicks, Stuart Duncan, Jason Carter and Luke Bulla; banjoists J.D. Crowe, Bela Fleck, Jim Mills and Rob McCoury; mandolinists Roland White, Sam Bush, Ronnie McCoury and Ricky Skaggs; acoustic guitarists Del McCoury and Bryan Sutton; and bassist Mark Fain.)

Other backup musicians on the album are Lee Ann Womack, Rob Ickes, Jerry Douglas, Kayton Roberts, Joey Miskulin, John Jennings, Eric Darken, Clay Hess, Kim Fleming, Bob Bailey, Vickie Hampton, Shannon Forrest and Paul Brewster.

Skaggs’ history with Monroe goes back a long way. He was only 5 or 6 years old and just beginning to master Monroe-style mandolin when the “Father of Bluegrass” did a show near Skaggs’ home and invited the youngster on stage to perform. Since Monroe’s death in 1996, Skaggs has been very vocal about his desire to carry on the tradition his mentor established.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to