February 1 is shaping up to be a big day in the bluegrass world. This year will mark the 80th birthday of Del McCoury on that date, a man who has given us more great bluegrass music than almost anyone we could mention, and continues to do so into his 8th decade……
Del McCoury may be 78 years old, but if you’ve followed his legendary career, from Bill Monroe’s band to building DelFest, one of the most popular music festivals in the country, you know that the man’s age is no more than a number. Bringinghis signature smile and timeless catalog of songs, Del McCoury with The Del McCoury Band is hitting the road on a tour bus starting in Berkeley, CA on November 26 and ending in Denver, CO on December 9 for an eleven-date winter tour.
Why now? What motivates the Grammy Award-winning Del McCoury to embark on his longest multi-week rock venue tour since performing with Steve Earle in 1999? “It’s time to check on the kids,” Del says. “Thousands of people from all over the world have supported our bluegrass band and DelFest over the years. I want to get back on the bus with my boys to express a little bit of our gratitude for all the love and attention that our fans continue to show us.”
For over fifty years, Del McCoury’s music has defined authenticity for the most hardcore bluegrass lovers to music fans only vaguely familiar with the genre. By collaborating with a who’s who list of artists across virtually every musical genre to being asked to write music to Woody Guthrie lyrics never set to music, Del and The Del McCoury Band, featuring his sons Robbie and Ronnie McCoury and award-winning musicians, Jason Carter and Alan Bartram, have built a fanbase that transcends age and musical interest. Now hitting the road for an extended bus run with renewed energy and enthusiasm, Del is focused on making his “Get On The Bus” Tour one that fans will remember for generations to come.
Don’t miss The Del McCoury Band’s “Get On The Bus” Tour this holiday season in a city near you:
11/26/2017 — Freight & Salvage — Berkeley, CA
11/27/2017 — Sierra Nevada Brewing Co — Chico, CA
11/28/2017 — Humboldt Brews — Arcata, CA
11/30/2017 — OK Theatre — Enterprise, OR
12/1/2017 — Aladdin Theatre —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
12/8-9/2017 — Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom — Denver, CO
THE MCCOURYS ANNOUNCE 2017 FALL AND WINTER TOUR
THE DEL MCCOURY BAND, THE TRAVELIN’ MCCOURYS, DEL AND DAWG, AND MORE APPEARANCES BY BLUEGRASS MUSIC’S FAMOUS FAMILY REVEALED
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 Bush, The 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 #
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.
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 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.
DEL McCOURY EMBARKS ON LANDMARK PROJECT WRITING MUSIC TO WOODY GUTHRIE LYRICS.
NEW ALBUM “DEL AND WOODY” TO BE RELEASED ON APRIL 15, 2016
February 17, 2016 – Nashville, 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:
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