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Celebrating 50 Years of Del McCoury

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Audio CD, May 12, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

CELBRATING 50 YEARS OF DEL McCOURY is a stunning 5-disc special edition box set collection encapsulating a 50-year legacy of brilliant, heartfelt music from the Bluegrass icon, who recently celebrated another milestone by turning 70 years old. With more than 30 new recordings of songs from Del s first 40 years of performing and an additional 18 from the Del McCoury s Band most essential tracks of the last decade, this quintessential box set is complete with a 12-page full color booklet of photographs from the McCoury family archives some which have never been seen.

From classics that he first sang back in the late 1950s to such stunning originals as High On A Mountain, Are You Teasing Me, Dark Hollow, Bluest Man In Town, Rain And Snow, Good Man Like Me, Rain Please Go Away, as well as Nothin Special and Never Grow Up Boy from the Grammy-winning, The Company We Keep, it s truly a life s work being handed down.

Del gives hope to everybody fifty years is a long time to be playing music in any field, says Elvis Costello. But to keep the purity that you need to do this kind of music, and the drive and energy, that takes a special kind of guy.

Elvis words are echoed by other master musicians and fans alike whose support for Del has only intensified over the years. The onetime Bill Monroe sideman is now the music s spiritual and artistic heir. Since the early 90 s, Del s popularity has soared. In addition to countless awards, including a Grammy and 3 dozen IBMA s (and an unprecedented 9 Entertainer of the Year trophies), Del s influence reaches well beyond his Bluegrass disciples, from 2008 Grammy Album of the Year winner Alison Krauss, to Dierks Bentley, Steve Earle, Vince Gill, and jamband fav s Phish, Leftover Salmon and Yonder Mountain String Band.

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF DEL MCCOURY was recorded in a marathon session that lasted only a few days. As befits a living legend, and a lively one at that, he brings a fresh and inspired take to all the tracks, particularly those that have been part of his repertoire since the beginning.

We went through the songs pretty quickly, says son Ronnie, who plays mandolin. Take after take, it was just great. Dad sounds better than ever on here. We had a list of songs that the three of us made, with fifteen or twenty songs from each of the decades and the albums that he made before he started owning his own recordings, and he would just pick some things to record on each session and then we just went in and knocked them out. So they all have a real live feel to them.

Disc: 1
1. I Wonder Where You Are Tonight - Del McCoury
2. Remembering - Del McCoury
3. Rain & Snow - Del McCoury
4. Are You Teasin Me? - Del McCoury
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Big Rock in the Road - Del McCoury
2. High On the Mountain - Del McCoury
3. Rain Please Go Away - Del McCoury
4. Pick Me Up On Your Way Down - Del McCoury
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Loneliness & Desperation
2. I Feel the Blues Movin In
3. Don t Let My Love Get in the Way
4. Who Showed Who
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Cold Hard Facts
2. Black Jack County Chains
3. A Far Cry
4. Backslidin Blues
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
2. Let An Old Racehorse Run
3. Same Kind of Crazy
4. I m Afraid I Forgot the Feeling
See all 10 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 12, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Label: Mccoury Music
  • ASIN: B0020H47GY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,069 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Todd A. Gracyk on May 29, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is a great, quasi-anthology project with nice graphics, many photos and extensive liner notes. It features 50 songs on 5 discs; just over 2 and half hours of music. One customer review notes that the 50 tracks could be squeezed onto less discs, but given the relative affordability, 5 discs isn't a problem (there is a theme here, with each disc representing roughly one decade of work as a band leader).

Most bluegrass fans are familiar with Del McCoury's legacy, so I won't go into all those details here. But for those new to the music, I will say that there is no finer bluegrass band than McCoury's, musically speaking. His lead singing is high and lonesome; McCoury is simply one of the greatest bluegrass lead vocalists of all time (right up there with Carter Stanley, Mac Wiseman, Jimmy Martin, Charlie Moore, Red Allen, Larry Sparks and Dudley Connell). McCoury has performed traditional bluegrass music since the late 1950s; early in his career was a member of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys and began fronting his own band in the late 1960s (initially named the Dixie Pals). Since the mid 1990s McCoury has delved heavily into contemporary material, collaborating with Steve Earle and covering songs by Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Richard Thompson, among others (McCoury's contemporary direction is reflected on the last 2 discs of this box set).

This box set features the Del McCoury Band on 30 newly recorded versions of songs that McCoury has recorded in the past, 2 previously unreleased tracks recorded in 2004 (Wiseman's "Remembering" and "You're The Girl Of My Dreams"), and 18 cuts from 4 albums released between 1999 and 2005 (the albums "The Family," "Del & The Boys", "The Company We Keep" and "It's Just The Night").
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By jk on May 20, 2009
Format: Audio CD
These 50 songs would fit on 2 cds. Making a "box set" out of it is a little weak. Sure, everyone likes the little booklets, but other than that this seems just wasteful and overpriced.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By 1969mets on June 10, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The collection gets fives stars for the wonderful, impeccable musicianship of the boys and the remarkable singing of the man. I love Del McCoury.

As a consumer product, however, it's a big disappointment. The execution of the package doesn't come close to the quality product that is contained within. As for 2 1/2 hours on 5 CDs, what can one say? There's really no excuse for that nearly a decade into the 21st Century. Del deserves better.
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By Gail Thompson on September 17, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of the best albums I have ever bought!!!! If you like bluegrass music this one is for you. Del McCoury is one of the best out there.... Give it a try.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Kenny on June 15, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was just at Bonnaroo and listened to Ronnie McCoury and David Grisman back to back. David Grisman is no doubt a world authority on the mando and a once in a generation virtuoso. However Ronnie McCoury buries David Grisman. I used to say that the voice of God spoke through his mandolin but now i have realized that he IS the God of the mandolin.
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