Ricky Skaggs is proud to introduce Jake Workman, the newest member of his band, Kentucky Thunder. Jake is replacing guitar virtuoso Cody Kilby, who was with Kentucky Thunder since 2001, picking up many awards and accolades during his tenure with the band as lead guitarist.
Ricky Skaggs says, “I’m so happy for Cody, as he came with me when he was 19 and stayed 14 years. He had so much potential, and with his hard work, he far exceeded my expectations. He’s become one of the very best guitar players in bluegrass music today. I’m so proud of him. I wished him the very best, and I blessed him to go. He will be a great addition to the Travelin’ McCourys. I wish the band the very best, too. They’re all my friends and I know Cody will be in a good place. I’ll miss him being around. He is great young man and I love him dearly.”
And about Jake, Ricky Skaggs says, “I’m very excited about hiring Jake Workman to be the new guitar player for Kentucky Thunder. He came highly recommend by two Thunder alumni, Bryan Sutton and Cody Kilby. He is a monster player from what I’ve seen and heard. He’ll be a great fit.”
Jake Workman, hailing from Draper, Utah, began playing the guitar when he received one for his 13th birthday in 2001. He started by learning to play tunes and solos of his favorite classic rock bands, practicing for six or more hours a day. During his middle and high school years he joined with friends and formed a rock band called Wayward Son. A year and a half later after starting the guitar, Jake’s introduction to bluegrass music came when his parents surprised him with a banjo for Christmas. Jake’s love for bluegrass grew heavily over the next few years as he attended jams and festivals throughout the Western states and eventually the entire country. He entered many instrument contests and won many titles on guitar, banjo and mandolin. In 2007 while attending the National Flat Pick Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas, Jake met other musicians that later would help form the Midwest-based band, Driven.
During that time period at a jam session in Utah, a talented fiddle player named Rebekah Travis caught Jake’s eye. By the time Driven played their first show of 2011, Jake and Rebekah were married and she joined the band as the full time fiddle player. Both Jake and Rebekah created their own album titled Deep Into the Heart ranging from various styles of bluegrass to gypsy swing.
Jake has played in Salt Lake City based groups Cold Creek, The Aaron Ashton Band, and the Jake and Rebekah Workman Band. He has a degree in jazz guitar performance from the University of Utah and his playing showcases his extensive knowledge in rock and jazz genres, but he is mostly influenced by traditional bluegrass. When not performing, he teaches many private lessons, writes music and works in the studio. Jake was recently featured on the cover of the May/June 2015 issue of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine.