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, for some, dreams came true on Saturday

A lot of folks got up festival early to come out and see The Jakobs Ferry Stragglers and The Plate Scrapers on Saturday morning. Festival early is a term we think we just made up. It is inspired by the phrase “hiker midnight,” which Appalachian Trail hikers will tell you is 9 p.m. That is late at night if you walked 10 miles the day before and plan to do it again the next day.[…]

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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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Artists say a chance to pick with their friends makes DelFest special

For many music lovers, some of the highlights of festivals are always the sit-ins. It’s fun to see different artists collaborate musically. And it turns out, the musicians like it, too. Matter of fact, many of them say their favorite thing about DelFest is getting to pick with friends. That is especially the case for Ronnie McCoury, who says his best memories of DelFest over the years have been those chances to play music with[…]

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Sam Bush’s DelFest memory: Seeking shelter from the storm

Sam Bush won’t be making it to DelFest this year. The mandolin monster is recuperating from abdominal surgery and had to bow out. Before that happened, though, we had a chance to talk with Sam for another pre-DelFest preview. We were talking about DelFest memories when he shared this story. It was headed for the written equivalent of the cutting room floor when a friend made a Facebook post reminding people not to be overly[…]

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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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A conversation with banjo pickin’ poet Danny Barnes

Prior to his show last night at Elk Creek Cafe & Aleworks, banjo picking poet Danny Barnes sat down with Brewgrass Chronicle editor Chris A. Courogen to talk about his music, his upcoming appearance at DelFest, where he will perform with David Grisman and Sam Grisman, his latest album, chatty audiences, and the story behind what is perhaps his best known song — Get it While You Can. Here is that conversation:

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