By Barry Gilbert
St. Louis Post-Dispatch


July 19, 2005

Chris Scruggs
"Honky Tonkin' Lifestyle"

The bloodlines are certainly there, but the music that comes out of the speakers is not what you might expect from hearing the name Scruggs.

The grandson of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs and the son of Gary Scruggs and mainstream country singer Gail Davies, Chris Scruggs adds a big dollop of Eddie Cochran to his country and it comes out rockabilly. The sound is not far from that of BR-549, for which he sang and played bass and guitars for the early part of this decade.

"Honky Tonkin' Lifestyle," a self-produced and distributed CD that Scruggs has been selling at shows for the past three years, romps through a number of honky-tonk, country and rockabilly styles.

From the acceleration of "Two Door Ford" to the cautionary "Sober Up and Think," Scruggs showcases his songwriting and instrumental chops, playing all of the electric and acoustic guitars, plus mandolin and pedal steel.

Like Cochran's best work, such as "Summertime Blues," a Scruggs song jumps off the line and hits a groove, and it all seems effortless. If there is any complaint, it's that these 10 songs fly by, clocking in under 23 minutes.

It will be fun to hear where Scruggs, a few years older and with more road experience, takes this talent on his next project.

"Honky Tonkin' Lifestyle" is available only at or at shows. Scruggs is scheduled to perform at 9 p.m. July 22, 2005, at Beale on Broadway.