Dispatch from DelFest: Nobody was resting on Sunday, including the rain

The emcee was on his way. He was doing double duty, covering two stages, so he may have been tied up over at the Potomac when Serene Green was ready to hit the stage in the Music Hall next door. Or maybe his watch was slow, or whomever’s Serene was going by was fast. For sure they were not in sync. We didn’t bother to check to see what time it was when the boys[…]

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Dispatch from DelFest, where Bloody Mary mornings turn into red hot Friday nights

Even though he is a Grand Ole Opry member, enshrined in every hall of fame that exists for the music he plays, and widely acknowledged as the reigning king of bluegrass, it seems like Del McCoury is still surprised by his success. Friday evening he stepped on to the stage and his eyes got wide as he looked out and saw the crowd gathered for the festival he hosts. His smile got wide, too. It[…]

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Dispatch from DelFest: 2019 edition of Memorial Day weekend classic off to fine start

DelFest 2019 started a day early this year, at least for us. We rolled into Cumberland on Wednesday in time to get to DelFest Academy in time for Bluegrass Karaoke, one of the highlights of the three-day, pre-festival, music camp for all ages that Rob McCoury’s wife, Lisa, runs each year. Bluegrass Karaoke is the final event of the academy, save the Thursday night opportunity for the Academy’s band scramble winners to play a song[…]

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Despite Venue Change, Philly Bluegrass Revival Was a Great Day of Fine Music

We were not quite sure what to expect when we rolled down the Pennsylvania Turnpike Sunday morning heading to what had once been one of the most highly anticipated events of festival season. When it was announced, the Philly Bluegrass Revival sounded like a very special event. Back then, folks talked about this as the possible start of something big. Comparisons were made to Baltimore and the wonderful Charm City Bluegrass Festival, which grew from[…]

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Travelin’ McCourys DELight the Friday night crowd at the Gettysburg Bluegrass festival

It might have been around 11 p.m. Or it might have been later. Or earlier. Probably later. The Travelin’ McCourys were supposed to take the stage at 10 p.m. Friday at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival. But when Russell Moore ran late in an earlier slot, then did an encore, too, things got backed up. So it was definitely later than 10 when they started. But why haggle over silly things like exact times. Let’s just[…]

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Dispatch from Grey Fox: A Friday filled from noon to late night with great music

“That old guy emceeing is known as a no-nonsense keep the show moving kind of guy,” said one of the volunteers working the High Meadow stage Friday afternoon. “He is usually out there with a kickstand, getting them right off the stage. He doesn’t encourage encores, so you know he liked them.” “Them” was the southcentral Pa. band Mountain Ride and they had just finished a set that included not one, but two encores. Two[…]

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There Is a Method to McCourys’ Album Release Madness

There was a time when it would be considered heresy for a band to release two albums on the same day. So to those brought up in times when the rules of the recording business were very different, it might have seemed unusual that both The Del McCoury Band and its jammier alter ego, The Travelin’ McCourys decided to both release their new LPs on May 25. Of course it is also usually the norm[…]

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Bluegrass Congress Lives Up to Hype, Highlighting a Great Weekend of Music at DelFest 11

Somewhere around 10:43 p.m. Sunday night, Del McCoury walked off the grandstand stage at DelFest 11, and what was an amazing weekend of eclectic music shifted into neutral. Yeah, Old Crow Medicine Show would play for another hour or so, but after they gathered around a single mic with the host of the party for a singing lesson on “Lost Highway,” Del left that stage, and we could coast. It was all downhill from there.[…]

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Call It What You Want, DelFest fans went nuts for Del McCoury’s “Soundcheck

“This is not a show. It’s just the soundcheck.” Del McCoury kept telling the fans that Thursday afternoon as he and his band opened the 11th Annual DelFest with what has become a tradition along the banks of the Potomac. And yes, technically it is labeled on the festival schedule as “The Del McCoury Band Soundcheck.” That mattered not to the DelFestarians who flocked the infield of the Allegany County Fairgrounds racetrack, aka the Music[…]

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Del McCoury set to convene The Bluegrass Congress on the banks of the Potomac

The press releases for The Bluegrass Congress, which is set to convene in late May in Cumberland, Maryland, suggest the legendary Del McCoury personally summoned the participants by sending out invitations on hand-rolled pieces of parchment. That might conjure up a good image for marketing purposes, but according to Del himself, that is not exactly how the event, which is sure to be a highlight of the 11th Annual DelFest, came to be. Credit for[…]

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