Due March 2, The Essential Earl Scruggs will cover most of the banjo pioneer’s career, including his time with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, Flatt & Scruggs and the Earl Scruggs Revue. It also features his contribution to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken albums, as well as later collaborations with Tom T. Hall and Ricky Skaggs. The two-CD set coincides with Scruggs’ 80th birthday, which was Jan. 6. At this year’s Grammy Awards, Scruggs is nominated for best bluegrass album and best country instrumental performance. Both nominations stem from The Three Pickers, a CD and DVD documenting a 2002 concert with Skaggs and Doc Watson.