DEL YEAH weekend announced in North Carolina


July 22, 2010&(Nashville, TN)&Breaking new ground in media and event promotion, roots music radio station WNCW and Del McCoury’s McCoury Music unveiled plans for the very first ‘Del Yeah’ Weekend a multi-day, multi-venue ‘happening’ taking place over Labor Day weekend, 2010 in North Carolina.

Initial plans include shows on September 4th and 5th featuring the award-winning Del McCoury Band and their friends in the Emmitt-Nershi Band, along with a full complement of yet-to-be-named artists (including regional favorites), presented at the Pisgah Brewing Company (Black Mountain) and the U.S. National Whitewater Center (Charlotte) respectively. Shows will be programmed for a full afternoon and evening’s worth of music and entertainment, culminating in closing jam sessions that will have audiences on the edge of their seats or dancing to the music all night long.

‘We’re really excited about the Del Yeah’ idea,’ said the Del McCoury Band’s manager, Stan Strickland. ‘And we’re especially excited to be working with WNCW, because it’s impossible to think of a radio station more attuned to the kind of bluegrass Del plays or to the wide range of music that’s being played by his friends. For Del Yeah,’ we want to create a festival atmosphere in an outdoor setting or otherwise non-traditional venue, and we think that the Pisgah Brewery and the U.S. National Whitewater Center are perfect locations to kick off the concept. The Pisgah has a large outdoor performance area that’ll hold up to 2,500 people, and the Whitewater Center is a great family destination that will allow us to mix music with their many sporting and outdoor activities, creating an event like no other.’

A half-century veteran of traditional bluegrass who was recently honored with a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Del McCoury has also welcomed the flowering of a variety of new string music styles. His own DelFest, which recently concluded its third successful year, has served up everything from his own hard-core bluegrass to jam bands, sacred steel, old and new style string band music and more, paving the way for the still more innovative ‘Del Yeah’ Weekend.

Joining The Del McCoury Band will be The Emmitt-Nershi Band, which exemplifies one of the most exciting strains of modern bluegrass and related music. Led by Drew Emmitt and Bill Nershi, linchpins of the legendary jam bands Leftover Salmon and String Cheese Incident respectively, both men have filled stadiums with high profile, grass-flavored rock’n’roll. Together, they’ve blazed new trails with a high-powered, rock- and jazz-flavored brand of bluegrass that has earned them critical acclaim and legions of young fans around the country.

WNCW has regularly earned awards for its outstanding programming and involvement in North Carolina’s multi-faceted roots music community. Broadcasting from Isothermal College in Spindale, NC for almost a quarter of a century, the station’s signal has brought the best in bluegrass, blues, gospel, Americana and more to devoted listeners in Asheville, Boone, Charlotte, Greenville and other area markets.

Tickets for both events will be $20 advance, and $25 day of show. For more information, please go to

National Heritage Fellowship Award

For Immediate Release June 25, 2010


(Nashville, TN)&Yesterday, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman, Rocco Landesman, announced this year’s NEA National Heritage Fellowships, and we are proud to announce that Del McCoury is one of nine recipients this year.

This award is the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts and each of the nine recipients will receive a one-time award of $25,000. The NEA National Heritage Fellowships public programs are made possible through the support of the Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation and Darden’s family of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons 52 restaurants.

Representing eight states, the nine recipients were chosen for their artistic excellence and their efforts to conserve America’s cultures for future generations. They come from a cross-section of ethnic cultures including Ghanaian, Irish, and Indian, and practice such diverse traditional art forms as Afro-Cuban drum building and Texas-style fiddling, as well as two art forms never before honored through the National Heritage Fellowships: lauhala (palm leaf) weaving and Bharatanatyam Indian dancing.

The award to Mr. McCoury reflects more than 50 years of work performing a truly American music. One of the greatest ambassadors for traditional bluegrass, he has been no less acclaimed for embracing offshoots of the 65 year old genre, embodying both aspects of his career through his annual Delfest music festival, where tradition is both honored and extended by the presentation of a wide array of bluegrass and string musics. Over the past two decades, he and his Del McCoury Band have become the most awarded act in the history of bluegrass, allowing him the opportunity to broaden its audience through appearances on late night television shows like David Letterman’s and Conan O’Brien’s, and at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center to popular festivals like Bonnaroo and the Newport Folk Festival.

When told of the honor, McCoury responded, ‘I’m truly overwhelmed. All I’ve ever done is play the music I love, and I feel very fortunate just to have made a career of it. To receive an honor like this for doing something you love seems almost unreal, but I am very thankful.’

The other 2010 recipients are Ghanaian drum master Yacub Addy, fiddler Jim ‘Texas Shorty’ Chancellor, Lauhala weaver Gladys Kukana Grace, sweetgrass basketweaver Mary Jackson, Bharatanatyam Indian dancer Kamala Lakshmi Narayanan, Irish flute player Mike Rafferty and Afro-Cuban drummer and drum builder Ezequiel Torres.

In addition, the Bess Lomax Hawes Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage, was given to Illinois folklorist and editor Judith McCulloh. McCulloh has overseen the publication of a number of books that feature consideration of Del’s work, including Neil V. Rosenberg’s and Charles Wolfe’s monumental The Music Of Bill Monroe.

The 2010 awardees will come to Washington, D.C. in September for a series of events including an awards presentation and banquet at the Library of Congress, as well as a concert scheduled for Friday, September 24, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland.

The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest annual national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.

For more information on the NEA, please visit For more information on the Del McCoury Band, visit

Del receives Governor's Arts Award for the State of Pennsylvania


Nashville, TN&First Lady of Pennsylvania Judge Marjorie Rendell recently announced this year’s Governor’s Arts Awards Honorees, and Del McCoury has been named Artist of the Year. The Award will be presented April 8 in Del’s hometown of York, PA.

The annual awards are a 29-year gubernatorial tradition honoring outstanding Pennsylvania artists, arts organizations and patrons who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the arts.

Del McCoury began his illustrious career just 50 miles from York in the bars of the Baltimore waterfront. Now, more than 50 years later, the one-time farm boy has taken Bluegrass music across the country and around the world, earning widespread acclaim as its foremost ambassador by balancing a profound immersion in its traditions with a wide-open appeal to listeners young enough to be his grandchildren. A staple of the mid-Atlantic bluegrass scene for decades, he built a reputation and influenced up-and-comers like Alison Krauss while raising his family in the same area where he grew up. Starting in the early 90s, Del blasted onto the national scene, earning dozens of awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association and NARAS, appearing at venues as varied as Carnegie Hall and the Bonnaroo Music Festival with his own band and with artists ranging from Phish to Dierks Bentley, and accepting induction into the world-acclaimed Grand Ole Opry cast in 2003.

Yet whether he’s entertaining a youthful audience numbering in the hundreds of thousands, appearing at a hard-core traditional bluegrass festival or presiding over his own freewheeling DelFest, McCoury has become universally acclaimed as a bluegrass patriarch whose commitment to musical excellence is surpassed only by his geniality and easy rapport with listeners. And though his career has led him to reside near Nashville, TN, Del remains proud to call York County home, and still maintains his Civil War era farmhouse a few miles out of town, where he sneaks away when his schedule allows.

Here’s a full list of the awards Governor Rendell will present at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 8, at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center in York:

· Distinguished Arts Award – Jeff Koons, internationally acclaimed visual artist and York native; · Artist of the Year -Del McCoury, legendary bluegrass artist of Nashville, TN, and raised on a dairy farm in York County; · Patron Award (1st of 2) – Louis J. Appell of York; · Patron Award (2nd of 2) – Arthur J. Glatfelter of York; · Outstanding Arts Leadership & Service to Youth Award – Caroline S. Nunan of Lancaster; and · Pennsylvania Creative Community Award – Ridgway Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous, the world’s largest event of its kind, drawing more than 200 carvers and 25,000 people to the Pennsylvania Wilds, Elk County.

‘The achievements of these honorees exemplify the transformative power of the arts in Pennsylvania,’ said First Lady Rendell, who was joined by Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Chairman Diane Dalto and Executive Director Philip Horn. ‘Each recipient has been a ‘game changer’ in their community or in their own art form, making lasting contributions to the growth and development of arts and culture.’

The honorees were selected from a field of more than 70 nominations submitted by arts organizations, artists, arts patrons, elected officials and the public. Previous honorees include actor Michael Keaton, author M. Night Shyamalan, Gospel Music pioneers The Dixie Hummingbirds, jazz pianist Bob Dorough, and comedian and actor Bill Cosby.

The awards ceremony in April will be free, open to the public and followed by a ticketed reception.

Media contact: Chris Harris 615-224-8083 phone

Tune in New Year's Day!!!

If you know the title of the 5-CD boxed set released on his McCoury Music label earlier this year — Celebrating 50 Years Of Del McCoury then you already know that Del’s wrapping up his 50th year in bluegrass, but you might not know that Del’s approaching the 150th edition of his SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction weekly show, Hand-Picked with Del McCoury. Past New Year’s Days have seen Bluegrass Junction airing Hand-Picked marathons, but this time around, the twin occasions will be celebrated with a special two-hour edition set to air at 4:00 pm Eastern on New Year’s Day–and this time around, Ronnie McCoury will be at the helm. The show will feature more than two dozen of the many collaborations Del’s done with other artists over the years–including several from upcoming albums–and Ronnie and show producer Jon Weisberger spent several weeks earlier this month lining up greetings, reminiscences and stories from a boatload of Del’s many friends and colleagues, from members of the Del McCoury Band to Patty Loveless, Vince Gill, Earl Scruggs, Eddie Stubbs, Marty Stuart, Tim O’Brien, Alison Krauss+Union Station, Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Dierks Bentley and many, many more.

Catch all of them and their music on this special edition of Hand- Picked with Del McCoury at 4:00 pm Eastern on New Year’s Day–but don’t tell Del; it’s a surprise!



(Nasvhville, TN) – After much anticipation, bluegrass patriarch Del McCoury and WAMU’s Bluegrass Country’s Katy Daley announced the initial lineup for the 3rd Annual DelFest live on air this morning. They then proceeded to take calls from fans and play cuts from the Del McCoury Band’s new album, Family Circle, which hits stores today.

Along with the Del McCoury Band and Del’s sons’ spinoff, The Travelin’ McCourys, next year’s featured artists include Yonder Mountain String Band, The Avett Brothers, Keller Williams and Friends featuring Jeff Austin and Keith Moseley, David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Railroad Earth, Dailey & Vincent and others (see below for full list). ‘While there will be many more acts added, we are proud to announce this first round of artists many who are friends of ours,’ says Ronnie McCoury of the announcement.

DelFest will be held Thursday, May 27 through Sunday, May 30, 2010 at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD (2.5 hrs from Baltimore and DC). It originated from the desire to create a family-friendly music festival celebrating the rich legacy of McCoury music while creating a forum for world-class musical collaborations and to showcase fresh new talent with a down-home feeling. Produced in association with High Sierra Music, the 3rd Annual DelFest will again offer a quality festival experience stamped with the unique McCoury touch. Personally chosen by Del, the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD serves as the perfect location for DelFest. Nestled along the Potomac River in the scenic Appalachian Mountains, the Fairgrounds are convenient to four major airports and easily reached by rail or road.

In addition to traditional stage sets by these world-class artists, attendees can again expect to see one-of-a-kind collaborations, special guest sit-ins, various tributes to Del McCoury and his musical legacy, intimate appearances, both at unique ‘playshops’ informal workshops where the emphasis will be on performance rather than instruction and in late night indoor performances and picking sessions. DelFest will also include a band competition, with the winners invited to return for a regular set at the following year’s gathering, and for the second year, Delfest will be immediately preceded by a 3-day Music Academy hosted by The Travelin’ McCourys, where all levels of musicians can learn from their heroes (the Academy will take place May 25, 26, and 27).

A limited number of early bird passes are on sale now, as well as DELuxe Experience (VIP) packages and RV passes. For detailed information and to purchase tickets, visit


3rd Annual DelFest

May 27 – 30, 2010

Allegany County Fairgrounds, Cumberland, MD


The Del McCoury Band (three performances over the weekend)

Yonder Mountain String Band

The Avett Brothers

Keller Williams & Friends featuring Jeff Austin and Keith Moseley

David Grisman Bluegrass Experience

Railroad Earth

Dailey & Vincent

The Travelin’ McCourys

Mountain Heart

Joe Craven

Larry Keel & Natural Bridge

Greensky Bluegrass

The Hillbilly Gypsies

Many more to be announced!

Tickets on sale now at

$110 4-day pass; $99 3-day pass (prices good through January 11, 2010)

DELuxe Experience and DelFest Academy packages available now. for more detailed information

Live from Bonnaroo 2009 DVD

Live From Bonnaroo 2009 DVD

We are very excited to announce that a full song from the Del McCoury Band’s Bonnaroo performance will be included in the ‘Live from Bonnaroo 2009′ DVD. This collection features 16 incredible performances and exclusive footage from Bonnaroo 2009. All Audio has been assembled from the master recordings and remixed in stereo and 5.1 surround. With live performances by Bruce Springsteen, Phish, the Beastie Boys, Snoop Dogg, Elvis Costello, Ben Harper and Relentless7 among many, many others, Live From Bonnaroo 2009 captures the energy of the festival and showcases the amazing artists that made this an unforgettable event.

Can’t wait to see it? See the exclusive preview – only available at

Live Bonnaroo 2009 DVD Performances

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – Outlaw Pete Phish- Down With Disease Beastie Boys – Intergalactic Snoop Dogg – I Wanna Love You Elvis Costello with Jenny Lewis and Her Sound – Go Away Ben Harper and Relentless7- Fly One Time Andrew Bird- Fitz and the Dizzyspells The Decemberists- The Wanting Comes In Waves/Repaid Del McCoury Band – Moneyland Coheed and Cambria – Welcome Home Amadou & Miriam – Masiteladi Santigold – L.E.S. Artistes Zac Brown Band – Who Knows Passion Pit – Little Secrets Raphael Saadiq – Keep Marchin’ Cage the Elephant- Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked

A limited number of DVDs are available now for pre-order for the price $15 plus shipping and handling. DVDs will be sent out in mid December.

Album Review – Celebrating 50 years of Del McCoury – by Juli Thanki

There are a few incontrovertible truths in life: First base is 90 feet from home plate, Martin Van Buren was the eighth president, and Del McCoury is the coolest cat in America. After all, the septuagenarian is one of music’s most admired elder statesmen, counting Elvis Costello, Bjork, and Richard Thompson among his many devotees. 2009 marks McCoury’s 50th year in music, and what better way to celebrate than by releasing a box set full of handpicked tracks many of which were rerecorded for this project from each stage of his prodigious career?

Born in York, Pennsylvania, in 1939, Del’s spent the last 50 years living the musician’s life described in his song ‘Never Grow Up Boy’: ‘Don’t ever let it be said, darlin’/That what I do don’t bring me joy/Climb in the seat beside my Martin/’Cause I’m a guitar pickin’, bluegrass singin’/Never grow up boy.’ Somewhere in all these years he and his eponymous band have won a truckload of awards, built a fanbase composed of everyone from bluegrass purists to sandal-wearing hippies (thanks to his spellbinding live performances), and even founded his own label-as well as the annual DelFest bluegrass festival.

Originally a banjo player, McCoury switched to guitar during his short tenure with Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys as lead singer in 1963; Monroe’s lineup at the time, featuring McCoury and Bill (Brad) Keith on banjo, was probably the strongest roster he’d fielded since the days of Flatt, Scruggs, and fiddler Chubby Wise two decades prior. After leaving Monroe, McCoury returned home, working various jobs to support his young family while playing music part time with his new band, The Dixie Pals. These years are represented on Disc 1 with new takes on classics such as ‘Are You Teasing Me,’ ‘Dark Hollow’ and ‘White House Blues,’ in addition to originals ‘Dreams’ and Grateful Dead favorite ‘Rain and Snow.’

In the early 1980s, Del’s teenage son Ronnie joined the Dixie Pals as the group’s mandolin player; brother Rob came on as the banjo picker soon after. Renamed The Del McCoury Band, the family would take Nashville by storm with its high energy music and downhome charm. Many years (and 36 IBMA awards) later, Del and the boys in addition to current sidemen Jason Carter (winner of multiple Fiddle Player of the Year awards) and bassist Alan Bartram are still on top of the bluegrass world. This journey is well represented on the final four discs of the box set, which features classics such as ‘Nashville Cats,’ ‘Pick Me Up On Your Way Down’ and excellent murder ballad ‘Blackjack County Chains.’ Disc Five is a collection of The Del McCoury Band’s most beloved tracks of the past decade, including fan favorites ‘All Aboard’ and ‘1952 Vincent Black Lightning.’

The quintet’s live show is really something that must be experienced and not just by fans of bluegrass/roots music but if by some chance Del’s gang doesn’t come by your neck of the woods too often, these five CDs are an acceptable, if costly, substitute.

My one quibble about this box set is the way it is composed. It’s a five disc set in which each 10-song disc represents a decade in McCoury’s musical history. While this arrangement does give the set a definite sense of McCoury’s timeline as a musician, five discs for fewer than three hours of music is, well, a little bloated. Luckily this minor sin is rectified by the extensive liner notes, featuring letters from Ronnie and Rob to their father as well as numerous photographs.

For a DelHead, this is essential listening: The new recordings of his older work are a joy to listen to, full of vigor and loaded to the gills with that high lonesome sound edged with innovation. In the span of five discs, we’re able to hear where McCoury’s been, and where he’s going. For the Del novice, it’s a fine introduction to the music of one of bluegrass’ best. Let’s hope for another 50 years of McCoury magic.

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