The Del McCoury Band: Newport Folk Festival 2009

Partner content from Folk Alley

The Del McCoury Band performs at Newport Folk. i i

hide captionThe Del McCoury Band performs at Newport Folk.

Michael Weintrob Photography
The Del McCoury Band performs at Newport Folk.

The Del McCoury Band performs at Newport Folk.

Michael Weintrob Photography

Del McCoury is one of the legendary names of country and bluegrass, with a 50-year career that has crossed paths with most major bluegrass artists playing in that time. Driven to pick up a banjo after hearing Earl Scruggs records, McCoury played with Keith Daniels, Jack Cooke, Bill Monroe and Bill Emerson in his early career. Monroe was so impressed by McCoury that he made him the lead singer of his Blue Grass Boys. For twenty years he fronted the band McCoury and His Dixie Pals, and has led The Del McCoury Band - which features his sons Ronnie, on mandolin, and Robbie, on banjo - since 1987.

In that time, McCoury's influence has spread outside of the world of bluegrass. He's played with Steve Earle and Phish, and traveled with the Down From the Mountain tour following the success of the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? This year, McCoury put out a box set celebrating his fifty years playing bluegrass. The set contains a dozen McCoury originals, like "Loggin' Man," as well as covers McCoury made his own, including the Louvin Brothers "Are You Teasin' Me."

McCoury has a classic bluegrass voice, high and clear, that seems poised to tip into a yodel at any moment, and though his records fall squarely within a bluegrass tradition, McCoury continues to stretch. The Del McCoury Band's last album was 2006's gospel inflected The Promised Land. One year earlier they put out the driving The Company We Keep. In that album's opener, 'Nothing Special,' McCoury croons, "My interests don't fall in monetary desires / Just a steady dose of passion, baby is all I require." They haven't stopped playing shows, either. This year, they've played at a number of festivals including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest and Bonnaroo. McCoury hosts his own bluegrass festival, Delfest, in Cumberland, Maryland.

Set List

"Dry My Tears & Move On"

"Count Me Out"

"Intro/ Quicksburg Rendezvous"

"A Deeper Shade of Blue"

"Black Jack"

"Nashville Cats"

"Cotton Eyed Joe"

"Kentucky Waltz"

"Moneyland"

"40 Acres & A Fool"

"Vincent Black Lightening"

"Gone But Not Forgotten"

"Put On A Crown and Walk Around"

"Foggy Mountain Special, featuring Ben Jaffe"

"Learning The Blues"

"Rawhide"

"Encore High On The Mountain"

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.