All posts tagged: Del McCoury

Main Streets, Baseball, and Rhubarb Crisp (?)

Main Streets and baseball. What could be more American? More  importantly, can you have a bad day when these two things converge?  Not in my book. But how did the Rhubarb Crisp replace apple pie?  Well, you’ll just have to read on to find out. We began our first Tuesday – Day 5 on the Not All Who Wander Are Lost cross-country tour – in tiny Spring Green, Wisconsin. For a town of 1400 (I love town signs that post the population), Spring Green had much to offer.  The downtown has a variety of interesting shops and services, and my friend Oakley Pearson – who drives through this area each year on his way home to Minnesota – recommended the Spring Green General Store for breakfast.  Claire and I took him up on that recommendation, and after a great bowl of oatmeal (see, we can eat healthy food), we’re glad we did. Business was hopping with a great mix of patrons. I stopped by one table to tell the guy wearing the 1952 Vincent Black …

Happy Birthday, Del McCoury

Happy 75th Birthday to Del McCoury, one of the finest voices in traditional bluegrass music. A winner of the National Heritage Fellowship lifetime achievement award and a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, McCoury – at 75-years young – doesn’t rest on his laurels.  Just last Sunday the Del McCoury Band won a Grammy for The Streets of Baltimore and he continues to find new avenues to showcase his talent and new collaborators for his music. Vince Gill has said “I’d rather hear Del McCoury sing ‘Are You Teasing Me’ than just about anything.” It just so happens there’s a terrific “early morning” video version of a very casual Del McCoury Band performing Are You Teasing Me? posted by radio station WNCW.  For a group that generally appears on stage in the traditional suits and ties of the classic days of bluegrass, it is kind of fun seeing the McCoury boys in shorts (with Rob in flip-flops) and Del in his jeans. Are You Teasing Me? Me, I’d rather hear Del sing 1952 …

Bush and Skaggs: Coming Home, Coming Full Circle

Two recent releases by Sam Bush and Ricky Skaggs – two superstars of Americana, roots, and bluegrass music – show both artists coming home in ways that bring them full circle with their own artistic travels. Bush’s Circles Around Me is a return to the bluegrass and early progressive newgrass of his youth in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  The album opens with the title track, a tune that celebrates “being thankful that you’re here” according to Bush.  His terrific road band – Byron House on bass, Chris Brown on drums, the amazing Scott Vestal on banjo and Stephen Mougin on guitar – plays on the majority of the 14 tracks, stretching out their musical chops on tunes such as the instrumental Blue Mountain and the old New Grass Revival song Souvenir Bottles. This latter tune, along with Whisper My Name written by original NGR bassist Ebo Walker and featured on their very first album, brings Bush back to the band where he made his name and helped shape a whole new genre of music – Newgrass. …

Few Things Beat a Car Radio

I love listening to music late at night when driving on a country road.   There’s a warmth that’s hard to capture in other settings.  You feel connected to the world, but the distractions are minimal and the darkness enfolds the car as if in a cocoon.  Tonight I had teenager taxi duty after an especially late party, so I found myself driving alone through the only stretch of road that could remotely be considered country on my route.  Rock Creek Park is an oasis of nature in the midst of the city.  It is also one of Washington’s treasures, and tonight I was crossing through in a drizzle, with only the threat of wandering deer to worry me. Another great Washington treasure is Mary Cliff’s Traditions, a long-running folk-music show on public radio.   Since Mary switched stations a few years ago, she comes on later and I don’t have the chance to hear her as often.  But tonight I was tuned in, and the sound of Jack Williams playing Dylan’s Forever Young came through during a set to  …