This fall and winter, music fans will have a chance to experience numerous incarnations of the music of Del McCoury and family, the renowned and revered bluegrass master, as he launches his most extensive tour in more than 15 years. The 35-date run will feature a different configuration of the McCoury family each night and includes dates billed as The Del McCoury Band and Del and Dawg, plus shows by The Travelin’ McCourys, which includes sons Ronnie and Rob McCoury. For a string of dates starting on November 26and running until December 9, fans will be treated to "Del: Get On The Bus" shows featuring Del in intimate rock clubs across the West Coast and Colorado. Tickets for those shows are on sale now. A full list of dates can be found below.
“There’s so many great places to play and hear music, I just can’t stop,” the Grammy Award winning McCoury said of his passion for the road and namesake festival, DelFest. “I always love hearing other people play, even if I don’t see myself playing their type of music, I never walk away without having learned something new.”
Del McCoury’s quest for new sounds is what drives him to seek out and showcase up-and-coming musicians, especially at DelFest. Over the years, Del has helped give start to young bands including Old Crow Medicine Show and Trampled by Turtles while collaborating and touring with musicians ranging from David Grisman (on the Del and Dawg tour), Sam BushThe Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Steve Earle. McCoury has also expanded his repertoire through working with the award-winning members of his band who also tour for their own loyal fan base as The Travelin’ McCourys. Fans can catch The Travelin’ McCourys on select dates this October on The Grateful Ball tour, dates paying allegiance to the music of The Grateful Dead and feature one of their most recent collaborations with The Jeff Austin Band.
As fans know, McCoury’s friends and collaborators range from country music hall of famerVince Gill to rock influencer Dan Auerbach to jam band heavies Trey Anastasio and Jon Fishman of Phish, as well as country star Dierks Bentley, and the late Jerry Garcia. But you don’t need to dig deep into history to find McCoury’s legions of fans that continue to grow as he reinvents his music never veering too far from the classic style he developed while playing with Bill Monroe. McCoury’s versatility was well showcased at the most recent DelFest which featured musicians including Fishman, The Trey Anastasio Band, Gov’t Mule, Bela Fleck and Chris Thile, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, and many others.
Don't miss this chance to see Del McCoury and the The Travelin’ McCourys at venues near you.
The Travelin’ McCourys Fall / Winter 2017 Tour Dates
* Grateful Ball with Jeff Austin Band
~ with Infamous Stringdusters
^ City Jam (featuring the region’s best pickers)
10/3/2017 - Rex Theater - Pittsburgh, PA *
10/4/2017 - Brooklyn Bowl - Brooklyn, NY *
10/5/2017 - Ardmore Music Hall - Ardmore, PA *
10/7/2017 - Festy Experience - Arrington, VA
10/7/2017 - Chapman Cultural Center - Spartanburg, SC                                               
11/9/2017 - Madrid Theatre - Kansas City, MO ~
11/10/2017 - Fine Line Music Café - Minneapolis, MN ~
11/11/2017 - Gabe’s - Iowa City, IA
11/12/2017 - Wooly’s - Des Moines, IA
11/15/2017 - Woodlands Tavern - Columbus, OH
11/16/2017 - Old Rock House - St. Louis, MO ^
11/17/2017 - Canopy Club - Urbana, IL ^
11/18/2017 - Bluebird Nightclub - Bloomington, IN ^
11/19/2017 - Park West - Chicago, IL ^
The Del McCoury Band Fall / Winter 2017 Tour Dates
^ Del & Dawg
# Del: Get On The Bus Dates
10/6/2017 - 3 Sisters Music Festival - Chattanooga, TN
10/7/2017 - Plaza Theatre - Glasgow, KY ^
10/14/2017 - Weis Center for the Performing Arts - Lewisburg, PA
10/19/2017 - Manship Theater - Baton Rouge, LA
10/20/2017 - Paramount Theatre - Austin, TX
10/21/2017 - Show Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival - Farmers Branch, TX
11/1/2017 - Harvester Performance Center - Rocky Mount, VA
11/2/2017 - The Hamilton Live - Washington, DC
11/3/2017 - Rams Head on Stage - Annapolis, MD
11/4/2017 - The Liberty Showcase Theater - Liberty, NC
11/26/2017 - Freight & Salvage - Berkeley, CA #
11/27/2017 - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - Chico, CA #
11/28/2017 - Humboldt Brews - Arcata, CA #
11/29/2017 - Tower Theatre - Bend, OR#
11/30/2017 - OK Theatre - Enterprise, OR #
12/1/2017 - Aladdin Theater - Portland, OR #
12/2/2017 - Triple Door - Seattle, WA #
12/3/2017 - Rogue Theatre - Grants Pass, OR #
12/6/2017 - Wheeler Opera House - Aspen, CO #
12/7/2017 - Strings Music Festival - Steamboat Springs, CO #
12/8/2017 - Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom - Denver, CO #
12/9/2017 - Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom - Denver, CO #


For media inquiries, contact Crissa Requate ( or Shelly Reed ( at Mason Jar Media






Del and Woody – an unlikely collaboration

Del and Woody – an unlikely collaboration

Two masterful musicians from different genres have come together for a new CD despite the fact that one of them passed away nearly a half century ago. The legendary Del McCoury releases a collaborative work with the late Woody Guthrie titled Del and Woody this Friday, April 15. McCoury didn’t set out to do the project. It just kind of fell into his lap when he was performing in a memorial concert for Woody a few years ago in Tulsa, OK. 

Del McCoury Band Breathes Life into Unrecorded Woody Guthrie Songs

Del McCoury Band Breathes Life into Unrecorded Woody Guthrie Songs

 Indeed, there’s a joyfulness to these recordings, perhaps to be expected from a singer who can perform heart-stopping spirituals. For example, “Left in This World Alone,” a lonely traveler’s lament that could be performed as a heart-breaking ballad, is elevated to a jaunty but impassioned mid-tempo plea in McCoury’s caring hands.

Del and Woody: Voices of America

Del and Woody: Voices of America

Del and Woody is the realization of two distinctly, genuinely American voices: Woody’s common-man vernacular and Del’s common-man sound.  Perhaps the keenest observer of mid-century American life and particularly American dialogue, Woody Guthrie’s take on life is perfectly reflected in these little moments.  A man taking his car to the garage to get fixed, a just-released prisoner working on a post-depression work project, a young father marveling about the beauty of his toddler son. 




February 17, 2016Nashville, TN – Del McCoury is at it again.  At 77 years young he is still very excited about music and creating projects that will be enjoyed by generations to come.  This one might just be the most talked about as it’s rare for two artists to team up on music separated by 70+ years…some of these lyrics were written the year Del was born, but with Woody’s timeless lyrics, and Del’s timeless sound, nothing matters but the songs.


You could almost say that the cover of the new release from the Del McCoury Band tells you everything you need to know: two giants of American music, both known far and wide by their first names, guitars in hand, looking out at the world with a bold gaze and a characteristic expression.  But there’s a story behind Del And Woody (McCoury Music, street date 4/15/16), a collection of Woody Guthrie lyrics set to music by Del McCoury—and while its dozen songs speak eloquently for themselves, knowing how they came to be adds a dimension that’s sure to deepen every listener’s enjoyment.


“When he recorded with Steve Earle back in the late 90s, that’s when I really discovered Del McCoury,” says Woody Guthrie’s daughter, Nora, guardian of the famed singer/songwriter’s unique legacy—and of an archive containing a treasure trove of memorabilia, recordings and, especially, notebooks filled with song lyrics. 


Still, it wasn’t until the Newport Folk Festival’s 50th anniversary in 2009 that she zeroed in on the bluegrass patriarch’s unique fitness for what became Del And Woody.  “After hearing Del's show,” she recalls, “I remember thinking that if my dad had had a band, it would very possibly have sounded very much like Del’s.  An invitation went to Del to perform at a Woody Guthrie

Centennial concert in Tulsa a couple of years later gave her the opportunity to hear him singing a few of her father’s songs—“I think Del’s ‘So Long, It’s Been Good To Know Yuh’ is the best version I’ve ever heard,” she notes—and the deal was sealed.


For McCoury, Guthrie’s name was mostly unfamiliar, though his songs weren’t. “It took a while before I heard his name,” he remembers.  “But then I started learning that so many of the songs I was hearing, from ‘Philadelphia Lawyer’ to ‘This Land Is Your Land,’ were his.  So when Nora said she wanted to send me some lyrics, I already knew what a great writer he was.  She sent me a few, then sent me some more, a few dozen in all.” 


“When I read them, it seemed pretty easy to me to hear the music that would fit.  Nora said, ‘you can change some things if you want to,’ and I said no.  He’s a great writer, and I do not want to change anything in his songs.  I would just like to put a melody to these words so that maybe folks will accept the songs, and that’s what we did.”


Though it took the process years to come to fruition the result is an album that really transcends the concept of collaboration. For while Del McCoury is not quite of Guthrie's generation, these two American masters share an unsurpassed breadth of experience, outlook, shared interests and common backgrounds. So what you hear is the simple and easy unity of these two artists. As Nora Guthrie says, "It sounds as if these lyrics and melodies have been around together forever, or as Pete Seeger says, 'that's genius'."


Given the importance of family to this project—whether in Woody’s obvious affection for his own, in Nora’s dedication to keeping his artistry alive and appreciated, or in the McCourys’ collective career—it’s fitting to leave the last word here to Nora’s brother, acclaimed singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie.   “The entire album goes back to a place and time that these days, are an almost forgotten era,” he says. “But, Del’s high bluegrass voice brings it all back into focus...It’s amazing how little the human condition has changed, and good to be reminded that humor, attitude, and great music are timeless. Thank you, Del.”

The world did get a brief glimpse into the project when "The New York Trains" was released on the 2014 audio book CD set, "My Name is New York; Ramblin' Around Woody Guthrie's Town". That song was honored with a Grammy Nomination at the 57th Grammy Awards for Best American Roots Song. 


The Del McCoury Band will be touring in support of this release in 2016.  On designated “Del & Woody” shows the band performs this album in its entirety with companion videos to each song playing behind them.  It really does bring Woody’s work to life after many years of these lyrics sitting on a shelf.


For more information:

Bridget Pleines –

Anna Canoni –



Del McCoury joins the Earls of Leicester for a special show to benefit the Earl Scruggs Center


Saturday, February 20, 2016

7:30 PM

Malcolm Brown Auditorium, Shelby High School

FOR TICKETS, CALL 704.487.8114

The Earl Scruggs Center is excited to present:

Jerry Douglas and the Earls of Leicester
with special guest Del McCoury

Saturday, February 20, 2016
7:30 PM
Malcolm Brown Auditorium
Shelby High School
Shelby, North Carolina


GRAMMY and IBMA award-winning band Jerry Douglas and the Earls of Leicester features legendary dobro player Jerry Douglas with acclaimed writer, producer, and solo artist Shawn Camp on lead vocals and guitar, renowned Nashville banjoist Charlie Cushman on banjo and guitars, second-generation fiddle phenom Johhny Warren, and Barry Bales, Douglas’ longtime bandmate in Alison Krauss and Union Station, on bass and vocals.

The group is the product of Douglas’ lifelong passion for the music of bluegrass pioneers Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and their band, the Foggy Mountain Boys – note the play on words in the group’s name.  This has been a longtime vision of Jerry Douglas, friend of Earl Scruggs.  Joining them will be special guest and bluegrass legend Del McCoury, who was bitten by the bluegrass bug when he heard Earl Scruggs’ banjo.  McCoury got his first taste of bluegrass when he played for Bill Monroe’s bluegrass boys in early 1963, and he has gone on to become one of bluegrass music’s greats.

CALL 704.487.8114


Click Here to View Original Article

The Del McCoury Band Sings Woody Guthrie

By Michael Scott Cain  |  Special to The News-Post  |  Jan 20, 2016

Del McCoury might have been born in Pennsylvania, and he’s chosen to live in Nashville, but he has Maryland roots that go back a long way. In fact, he started his career playing bars in Baltimore, up U.S. 1 and out U.S. 40.

“Baltimore was pretty hot back in the ‘50s. It was a hot place for bluegrass,” he said in a phone interview from his home in Nashville. “A lot of people came up from Tennessee and Georgia and Alabama to work during the war in the shipyards, in the steel mills and aircraft factories, and we played for them. They loved mountain music. A lot of local people loved it, too, and we played for them.”

He laughed as the memories turned into stories — and Del McCoury, in his many years playing music, has a lot of stories to tell.

He went into the story of how the first bluegrass concert in Carnegie Hall came to be. “Earl Taylor was the biggest star. I played with him in a little place called Castle Café, right off of Broadway. I met him in the fish market. There was was a big bar in Fells Point that had country and bluegrass music, two bands, no stopping. When one finished, the other would start up. Earl Taylor was playing there, and a man came in, sat there all night listening. Just had two drinks, and when Earl finished, he went up to him and said, ‘My name’s Alan Lomax, and I’m going to put you boys in Carnegie Hall. Earl said, ‘I’ve heard that before,’ but Lomax actually did it. He got them to make an album for Folkways Records and to play Carnegie Hall. They had a great sound.”

How did McCoury end up playing guitar? He has a story for that, too.

Bill Monroe, the mandolin player credited with inventing bluegrass, was coming through Baltimore in 1963 and needed both a banjo player and a guitar picker. He hired McCoury and put him onstage without even rehearsing. McCoury, having played cover versions of Monroe’s songs, was able to keep up, but after a couple performances, Monroe shocked him by asking him to switch over to guitar and become the lead singer. It turned out to be the right move. He did it, and has never gone back to the banjo.

After almost 10 years with Monroe, McCoury left the band and briefly joined the Golden State Boys in California. When that band broke up, he went back to Pennsylvania and took a job to support his wife and two small sons, confining his musical activities to playing festivals on the weekends.

But by the time they hit their teens, his two sons had become musicians. They became his band, and McCoury decided it was time to move to Nashville and get back to music full-time in the ‘80s. With his son Ronnie on mandolin and his son Robbie on banjo, they have become the Del McCoury Band and are busily and happily rewriting the rules for bluegrass.

The Del McCoury Band recorded nonbluegrass tunes like the British folk-rocker Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” recorded an album with country-folk-rocker Steve Earle and played jam band festivals with Phish, proving that bluegrass is more flexible than people might have thought it was. Their stretching of musical horizons has also made McCoury and his sons one of the most honored bands in bluegrass. In fact, country-bluegrass artist Alison Krauss told the newspaper The Tennessean that McCoury widened the field for everyone. He is, she says, the new Bill Monroe.

McCoury expressed surprise at her comment, which he had not heard. “Alison said that?” he asked and then said he was just lucky to be able to make a living playing bluegrass.

He’ll return to Maryland to perform on Jan. 22 at the Weinberg Center in a concert designed to celebrate the music of Woody Guthrie, America’s finest and foremost composer of folk songs. Long after Guthrie’s death, his daughter, Nora Guthrie, found notebooks of his that were thought to have been long lost. They contained lyrics for songs that remained unfinished because Guthrie had not yet written melodies for them.

Nora gave lyrics to such artists as Billy Bragg, Elvis Costello and Natalie Merchant, asking them to write tunes to match the lyrics and to record the finished songs. “Nora picked us to do that,” McCoury says. “She said her dad would have loved to have a band like ours. She offered us 20 songs. We worked the songs up and made demos of them. One day, I’m listening to them and really got into them. ... We’ve been playing them at shows and at first we didn’t know them, didn’t know how to perform them, but they always went over well. We’ve got them down right now.

“They’re very special songs, from 1935 to 1949. Some of them are in his own handwriting. The songs last. You could do some of them 100 years from now. He’d write about that day, whatever day it was. He wrote comical, smart, about being down and out, everything. He’s even got a song about women’s hats. He was in New York City, and he’d never seen stuff like that before. That’s what he did — he wrote down what he saw.”

The first half of the show will feature songs with Guthrie’s lyrics, and after an intermission, the Del McCoury Band will perform classic songs from its own repertoire.

Del McCoury still feels a kinship with this area. His bluegrass festival, Delfest, is held annually in Cumberland, and he’s played a lot in Frederick, “even though I’ve driven through it more than I’ve played here.” Playing Frederick is “like coming home,” he said.

A practicing poet who teaches literature at Frederick Community College, Michael Scott Cain also writes essays and music and book criticism for various magazines. He has published three novels, three nonfiction studies and six poetry chapbooks. He can be reached at