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Del McCoury Band, The Biography

Del McCoury Band, The Biography

The Del McCoury Band is a Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band. Originally Del McCoury and the Dixie Pals with Del on guitar and his brother Jerry on bass, the band went through a number of changes until the 1980s when the band solidified its line-up, adding McCoury's sons, Ronnie and Robbie on mandolin and banjo, respectively. In 1988, the "Dixie Pals" name was dropped in favor of the current name.Fiddler Tad Marks and bass player Mike Brantley joined in the early 1990s while the band became a national touring act. In 2004 they were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album for It's Just the Night, and in 2006 they won that category for The Company We Keep. The band recorded with Steve Earle on his 1999 album The Mountain.

Del McCoury, the band leader, has had a long career in bluegrass. Although originally hired as banjo player, he sang lead vocals and played rhythm guitar for Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys in the 1960s, with whom he first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1963. McCoury briefly appeared with the Golden State Boys before taking a series of day jobs in construction and logging, while continuing to work as an amateur musician in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. In the 1980s his sons began performing with him. Fiddler Tad Marks and bass player Mike Brantley joined McCoury's group in early 1990s. McCoury's group toured widely throughout the US. They relocated to Nashville, Tennessee as they began to attract attention. Fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Mike Bubb joined in 1992. McCoury became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in October of 2003. McCoury has influenced a great number of bands, including Phish, with whom he has shared the stage several times, and who have covered his songs.He has also performed with String Cheese Incident and Donna the Buffalo. McCoury has covered songs by artists as diverse as The Lovin' Spoonful, Tom Petty, and Richard Thompson. McCoury has appeared at festivals including Bonnaroo, High Sierra, and the Newport Folk Festival. His television appearances include Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Late Show with David Letterman.Del has a very enthusiastic fan base, known as the Del-Heads.

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