Cody Kilby: Illusion of Speed

It’s difficult to put into words just how I feel when I listen to great Bluegrass music.

Everyone’s got their favorite and here’s mine..

This particular video was filmed at the Ryman in Nashville featuring Ricky Scaggs and Kentucky Thunder.

I want you to pay attention to guitarist Cody Kilby- he is just lights out on this video in fact… so is Ricky’s entire band..

Cody I believe is the best guitarist that Ricky has ever had in his band.  Now that’s saying a lot since he’s had so many greats including Bryan Sutton…

And let’s not forget all the years he has played with Tony Rice.

But Cody in my opinion takes the entire flaitpicking “conservation of energy” to another level- just look at his hardly moving right hand. He’s not picking every note you know, and that’s the secret to super fast flatpicking.

Now while the tempo of this song Shady Grove seems fairly brisk,  it’s really cranking a lot more clicks on the metronome than you might think… This is due to the fact that the playing and timing is so accurate… this  causes the illusion that it is slower than it seems. I know I know, some of you are going to say this IS FAST but to judge the real speed, pick up a guitar and try playing along- even just rhythm. Even faster huh… !

if you want me to post more Bluegrass flatpicking vids, please let me know.  I should probably thrown up a Larry Sparks video?




  1. They are getting paid by the note. Big money…

  2. Jay Tolbert

    Hang on! The train has definitely left the station! Great stuff Bob.

  3. Stunning. Such a shame the audio/video are really out of sync. I see the show was produced by Terry Lickona, native of here in Poughkeepsie, NY, now Exec. Producer of Austin City Limits, and formerly a DJ on a Poughkeepsie FM ststion that was country n the 70s and now rock. I’m pretty sure Terry’s also a former chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees for the Grammys. I met him when he was pals with the local Arm Bros. band

    • Yea, Fred, I would think that “Picky Ricky” would have flagged the out of sync (or maybe he’s mellowing out with stuff like that). Certainly still picky however with the music!

  4. James Price

    I performed that night on the show with Ralph Stanley and Patty Loveless. It was a good memory!

    ~James Price~

  5. Great! Thanks for posting…It impelled me to dance in this cold snowy morning..

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