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Del and the Boys

Del McCouryAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, 2001 --  
Audio Cassette, 2001 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 10, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ceili Music
  • ASIN: B00005LZSE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,917 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
2. Learnin' The Blues
3. Count Me Out
4. All Aboard
5. The Bluegrass Country
6. Recovering Pharisee
7. Goldbrickin'
8. Gone But Not Forgotten
9. The King's Shilling
10. Unequal Love
11. A Good Man Like Me
12. Travelin' Teardrop Blues

Editorial Reviews

Del and the Boys finds the man himself still firmly in charge, and his inhuman tenor all sharp yips and long, high howls, as yet unaffected by advancing age. Its lineup constant since 1993, Del's band cuts as smart as the crease in his best suit pants, and here the quintet's sound is crisply captured by his son Ronnie, who for the first time handles production duties by himself. Ronnie also adds mandolin and vocal color; his brother Rob the nimble banjo rolls. Mike Bub's bass patrols the beat, Jason Carter's fiddle shivers and cries, and both men contribute baritone harmonies. The album's dozen songs include a few McCoury originals, a couple of blues and a gospel tune, plus one rock cover: Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" here gets the treatment that was previously applied to the likes of Tom Petty and John Sebastian. All of the foregoing is entirely unsurprising to anyone familiar with the McCoury Band, who prove yet again their utter mastery of traditional bluegrass despite their unwillingness to take much creative risk. --Anders Smith-Lindall

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant Greatest Hits Album November 5, 2001
Format:Audio CD
If none of the other reviews for this album have sold you yet, then you just don't like bluegrass music. If you could only buy one bluegrass album this should be your choice. As my review title indicates, this album is a "greatest hits" album all on its own. I bought this album and then saw Del and the Boys live in Lexington, VA. I just cannot say enough about the songs; they are all outstanding. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning is so good I listened to it back-to-back about 5 or 6 times before I listened to the next song. Its story reminds the listener of Bonnie and Clyde and the song combines the bitter sweet lyrics of Richard Thompson with Del's wonderfully distinctive voice. Listen to the sound of each individual instrument all the way through. Every member - Ronnie and Rob McCoury, Jason Carter, Mike Bub - play as if its the last, best song they will ever play. Each deserves player of the year for their respective instrument. And that's just the first song on the album! Goldbrickin', Gone But Not Forgotten . . . I can't say enough. This is by far the very best bluegrass album I have ever heard.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome return of the high tenor September 23, 2002
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was exposed to Del and crew first on the Ricky Scaggs PBS bluegrass special and then on Austin City Limit with Patty Lovelace. Del's high-tenor struck me the first time I heard it and has grown on me each time thereafter. I don't seem to hear much high-tenor in today's bluegrass.
Del and his band are tight and right on the money the whole way through both musically and vocally. Members of the band have written about half the songs on the disc which is refreshing (although more would be better).
The first cut is Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning: ("Red hair and black leather are my favorite color scheme"). The treatment is so good that I probably won't like the original.
"All Aboard" is a "traveling is about the trip, not the destination" allegory full of minor chords and the classic mystical stranger.
"Gone but not forgotten" is nostalgic pop (bluegrass) that harkens back to good days of old that include Cowboys, Hobos, Heroes ("Heroes... Good Guys. White Hats. Fist Fights. Take that! Heroes...") and Daddys ("Strong back. Rough hands. Soft heart. Good man.")
On the whole it's a new album of "classic" bluegrass, in tune, in key, and on fire. This disc has long term repeatability and you'll be singing the songs to yourself in no time at all.
This is a must have purchase. Buy one for yourself and a couple for your friends. Whether they already are bluegrass fans or not, they'll love this disc.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Album of 2001 July 27, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This album is definitely the best bluegrass album of the year, and quite possibly the best album of any genre. The DMB's handling of Richard Thompson's "52 Vincent..." has in my opinion created one of the all time best American story songs, and is a must hear. Plus, hearing Del's voice howl on that Sinatra song, "Learning the Blues", is guaranteed to make you cry, or least want to. The guys take up a rockin' pace with greats such as "All Aboard", "Bluegrass Country", "Gone But Not Forgotten", and my favorite, "Travelin Teardrop Blues", but don't miss the excellent Del original, "A Good Man". This is a great song and I think I read, that it hasn't been available on anything since an old Del album circa the early to late seventys? Of course, those who know of Del's son Ronnie, would probably buy the album just for the instrumental he wrote called "Goldbricken". However, that's not all this CD has to offer, "Count Me Out" really showcases the band's ability to harmonize, "King's Schilling" again exemplifies the range and intracacies of Del's voice and is a great story song too, and "Recovering Pharisee" is a "true life" gospel song, not the kind you'll get in church, and should not be missed. Then there is the other Del originial, "Unequal Love", which tells of a love for another that is not returned, it's a feeling we've all had, and a song to be appreciated.
This album is great, and with all due respect, I disagree with the previous review.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
The Del McCoury Band is the most awarded group in the history of bluegrass and one listen to "Del and the Boys" is enough to tell you why. Del served as Bill Monroe's duet partner and guitarist for a short time in the early sixties, and since then he has developed into one of the finest singers and songwriters of the genre. His always-smiling face belies his keening voice and the bluesy material he writes and covers.

The "boys" are Del's sons Ronnie (mandolin and producer) and Rob (banjo), fiddler Jason Carter, and bassist Mike Bub.

"Del and the Boys" contains sincere gospel ("Recovering Pharisee"), longing for home ("The Bluegrass Country"), a soaring instrumental number ("Goldbrickin'") and laments for love gone wrong ("A Good Man", "Count Me Out") - all the elements of a good bluegrass album. Ricky Skaggs (vocals) and Stuart Duncan (fiddle) also make cameo appearances.

But what makes this a great bluegrass album are tracks like "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" - Richard Thompson's ballad of motorcycles and redheaded women recast here as an epic redemption song - and "Learnin' the Blues" - a performance whose vocal and instrumental dynamics no other acoustic band can hope to exceed. "Del and the Boys" is sure to lengthen their string of awards. No wonder Del is always smiling.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardcore Bluegrass
If you're not a seasoned bluegrass fan you might have a hard time with Del's vocals at first. Actually, it took a while for me to get used to his nasally style, but once you get... Read more
Published on September 17, 2009 by Jackstraw
5.0 out of 5 stars "1952..." cover not a stretch at all
The song 1952 Vincent Black Lightning comes directly out of the highwayman/murder/broadside ballad tradition that also helped produce the Appalachian tradition from which bluegrass... Read more
Published on November 26, 2007 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Driving Bluegrass
Be careful the first song on this CD "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" will having you searching eBay for an old motorcycle! Read more
Published on September 22, 2005 by Rod Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Album
I am sorry to say that I never heard of Del McCoury until a few days ago. I heard the band live for the first time at the Down from the Mountain concert tour and was absolutely... Read more
Published on July 9, 2002 by Yankeedoodleboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Giant Sound!
Five very talented musicians elicit a gigantic sound from their
instruments. Old timey singing coupled with marvelous acoustics. Read more
Published on December 15, 2001 by James O. Guthrie
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun to listen to
I bought this CD a few months ago, and I've probably listened to it at least 10 times since then. I heard a story on the radio about this group that prompted me to buy the disc. Read more
Published on October 17, 2001 by J. Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars Del and the Boys - Del McCoury
What a wonderful, surprising, toe tapping CD.. I was considered to be a babe in the woods whenever it came to Bluegrass music that is until Del and the Boys came into my life. Read more
Published on October 13, 2001 by Marica Dixon
5.0 out of 5 stars Another instant classic
The premier bluegrass band does it again. Cover of Sinatra is so good, you forget it is a cover. Please Del, don't make make us wait for another.
Published on September 20, 2001 by "locdout"
5.0 out of 5 stars Musical Bliss
Not just superb bluegrass - this is wonderful music. Steve Earle called them the best working bluegrass band today. This album is proof. Read more
Published on September 12, 2001 by Elizabeth Gorman
5.0 out of 5 stars Bluegrass rapture
This is the best blugegrass CD in a long, long while in my opinion. Del's voice is simply sublime. I do enjoy Ronnie's solo stuff, but it's really Del that drives the music that... Read more
Published on August 24, 2001
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