We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.



If anyone in country music deserves a hit, it’s Ricky Skaggs, who carried the torch for traditional country in the darkest years of the Pre-Garth Age. But at only 42 he’s been dismissed by contemporary radio, along with discarded elders like Haggard and Jones. A regular and crowd favorite at the Opry (where they never forget you), Skaggs is still swinging for the charts, but his latest, an insipid cover of Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle,” may be the low point of his illustrious career. Skaggs’ annual Pickin’ Party resembles the bluegrass festivals where he got his start as a boy in Kentucky: This year’s event features Irish singer Maura O’Connell, bluegrass veteran Tony Rice, whose recent Rounder compilation, Sings Gordon Lighfoot, pays tribute to his folk leanings, master dobro player Jerry Douglas, former New Grass Revival founder Sam Bush, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, whose spacey bluegrass fusion is a strong argument against marijuana, and the unfortunately named Leftover Salmon, which performs an unfortunately named hybrid the band calls “Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass.” At 7 p.m. at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, 1624 Trap Rd., Vienna. $15-24. (703) 255-1860. (ED)