Del McCoury Band - The Family

Del McCoury Band
The Family

(Skaggs Family/Ceili Music)

First Appeared in The Music Box, September 1999, Volume 6, #9

Written by John Metzger


The Family was released at nearly the same time as The Mountain, the Del McCoury Band’s recent collaboration with Steve Earle. That disc may be the stronger of the two, but there’s no doubt that the Del McCoury Band is the best bluegrass outfit in the business.  On The Family, which was produced by Jerry Douglas, the ensemble rifles through twelve tracks in less than 37 minutes, bending the graceful sounds of mandolin, banjo, and fiddle around the rock-solid rhythm of Del McCoury’s acoustic guitar and Mike Bub’s bass. The group stretches bluegrass further than most, slipping fluidly from gospel (Bill Monroe’s Get Down on Your Knees and Pray) to folk (John Sebastian’s Nashville Cats) to the blues (Backslidin’ Blues) without missing a beat.  Rounding out the band are Jason Carter on fiddle and McCoury’s sons -- Ronnie on mandolin and Rob on banjo. Ronnie is as dexterous a mandolin player as anyone, and he, his brother, and Jason Carter (who plays fiddle) intertwine their rhythms and solos with stunning and majestic beauty. In addition, Ronnie has begun to step out as a songwriter, contributing the whirlwind instrumental Red Eyes on a Mad Dog to this collection. starstarstar ½

The Family is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 1999 The Music Box