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Del McCoury

Del And The Boys – 2001 (Ceili Music)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Del McCoury

All hyperbole aside, The Del McCoury Band is the best working bluegrass group in the land right now, and it could be argued that their final resting place in bluegrass history will be alongside Scruggs, Stanley and Grisman, who all had the ability to honor the music's traditions while expanding on its possibilities.

McCoury and his group have been solid for a decade now and show no signs of letting up now. All the band members are award-winners on their respective instruments, but there seems little ego involved in their recordings, as one member's solos slide effortlessly into another's, as on "Learnin' The Blues." McCoury's outreach to non-bluegrass audiences continues here with a spirited run-through of Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning," though the impossibly fast traditional sound of "Gone But Not Forgotten" is even more rocking. Their equally important gospel roots are honored on "Recovering Pharisee."

It is hard to argue with a band that continues to set the standard for their genre, as Del and the boys do here.