In this week's episode, we're featuring what remains Ricky Skaggs' only US platinum album, "Highways & Heartaches" (1982). A magnificent sophomore effort on Epic Records, Skaggs was once again given free rein to produce it himself - certainly an uncommon stipulation for a 28-year-old would-be star with next to no country music clout at the time. After hitting town a few years earlier armed with but a few rough mixes, Ricky Skaggs scored a meeting with Epic's Rick Blackburn, and aside from walking away with a recording contract more or less that day - Blackburn also agreed to let Skaggs produce his own stuff, pending sales. Hindsight proved that to be a wise decision, because from the get-go Skaggs - from a traditional bluegrass background - combined the acoustic and no-fuss aspects of bluegrass and old-time country music with an uncanny knack of finding timeless material which appealed to mainstream country audiences. The Kentucky high tenor had himself three number ones from 1982's "Highways & Heartaches", and cemented himself at the forefront of a rising traditional country revolt - later to be known as the new-traditionalist movement. Highlights include Guy Clark's "Heartbroke" (with one minor change); a cover of Bill Monroe's "Can't You Hear Me Callin'"; some glorious steel guitar from Lloyd Green on "You've Got A Lover" and the whirlwind picking on fellow member of Emmylou Harris' Hot Band Rodney Crowell's "One Way Rider" is simply mesmerising.