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Rob McCoury announces first solo disc

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 – Rob McCoury will release his first-ever solo album in mid-August, it was announced today.

McCoury Music, the label started by his father, Del, will release "The 5-String Flamethrower" on Aug. 19.

"My first love will always be traditional bluegrass," said the banjo player. "When it's right, there's just nothing better. I love the simplicity of being able to take four or five guys, get 'em out, tune 'em up and play."

The release, which had been in the works for two years, is a tribute to banjo pickers, including his father. "I used every cut we recorded on this album," McCoury said.

The tribute begins with Earl Scruggs, the player who started it all. McCoury plays his "Foggy Mountain Chimes" along with a relaxed version of "John Henry." "Foggy Mountain Banjo" is arguably the greatest banjo record ever made," he said, "and Earl had a variety of stuff on there-'Home Sweet Home' in C tuning, and 'John Henry' in D. It's one of the things that made him so great."

Don Reno was represented by "Charlotte Breakdown," "Banjo Riff" and "Feudin' Banjos." "When I started writing down all these tunes," McCoury said, "I kind of surprised myself. I looked the list over, and I spotted a lot of Don Reno tunes. Well, when you're playing stuff a lot, you don't always pay attention to where you might have learned it from, but I looked at that list and thought, I'm putting some Don Reno tunes on here. As a kid, it was Earl all the way, but as I got a little older, and I started hearing these great Reno & Smiley records, I thought, some of that is the coolest thing I've ever heard."

Sonny Osborne shows up both figuratively and literally, as McCoury both recorded his "Siempre" (with brother Bobby Osborne on hand) along with the previously unrecorded "Jericho," and momentarily enticed Sonny out of retirement to lay down the opening to "We Could." So do recent Hall of Fame entrant J. D. Crowe ("Blackjack"), Larry Perkins ("Northwest Passage") and Walter Hensley ("Sugar Creek").

More news for Del McCoury

CD reviews for Del McCoury

Del and Woody CD review - Del and Woody
For two years we've been hearing of this recording, a project where original lyrics from Woody Guthrie were to be reinvented as bluegrass songs by the legendary Del McCoury. Like previous sets from Billy Bragg & Wilco (3 volumes of "Mermaid Avenue" released between 1998-2012), Jay Farrar, et al ("New Multitudes," 2012) and The Klezmatics (a pair of 2006 releases), lyrics stored within the Woody Guthrie Archives were turned over to McCoury to be repurposed. »»»
High, Lonesome and Blue
Perennial IBMA Entertainer of the Year winner Del McCoury has had an impressive run over the last decade or so, and his efforts are a large factor in the ever-widening popularity of bluegrass music. McCoury's growth came at a time when he was recording on Rounder, and this collection on Rounder's Heritage series collects tracks from all of the albums he issued during that period. Though McCoury released an album with Rounder in 1972, this disc skips over that for the more cohesive batch of tunes »»»
Del And The Boys
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 »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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