The Del McCoury Band
July 28, 2011
Vince Gill says it simply, and maybe best: “I’d rather hear Del McCoury sing ‘Are You Teasing Me’ than just about anything.” For fifty years, Del’s music has defined authenticity for hard core bluegrass fans—count Gill among them—as well as a growing number of fans among those only vaguely familiar with the genre.
Traditional music master Del McCoury has earned Grammy nominations—and awards—before, but as he, his McCoury Music label and the Del McCoury Band savor the nomination of their Family Circle release for Best Bluegrass Album, a deeper look at this year’s candidates says something more about the man and his music. For while he’s a certified living legend who took home the nation’s top traditional arts honor this year, Del McCoury is also a vital presence in today’s cutting edge bluegrass as well, appearing on another five nominated recordings, including all but one of the Best Bluegrass Album nominees.
McCoury guested with long-time friends Sam Bush (Circles Around Me) and Peter Rowan (Legacy) and joined Patty Loveless, who inducted him into Grand Ole Opry membership, on her Mountain Soul II, all nominated alongside Family Circle. But he reached further, too, with an appearance on two country nominees as well: his duet with Dierks Bentley on U2’s “Pride (In The Name Of Love),” recorded with Punch Brothers, scored a nod for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals, while Bentley’s album, Up On The Ridge, is up for Best Country Album.