True blue: Del McCoury at Vilar
BEAVER CREEK – Legends of bluegrass come out to play at the Vilar Center Friday.The Del McCoury Band is considered the first family of bluegrass. Guitarist and lead vocalist Del is joined by his sons, Ronnie McCoury (mandolin and vocals) and Rob McCoury (banjo), Jason Carter (fiddle, vocals) and Mike Bub (bass and vocals) don’t share blood, but Del considers them family, too.”The band is really half my age,” said Del. “So they keep the music fresh. And playing different venues – that keeps me young.” “When we joined dad’s band, it was sink or swim,” Rob said. “You had to do it – it was the real thing.”That sense of authenticity is something Del has worked hard to preserve, as it’s what first interested him in bluegrass. He discovered Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs, and he was hooked.
“I didn’t know at the time that I was listening to the best,” he said. “Course, I know that now.”This was the time of pre-rock and roll, just before Elvis hit the scene. The music was alive, and Del answered the siren song of it.”It had that fire, that all of the music of the day didn’t have,” he said. “I think that’s what kids look for at a certain age. It just stings you, and that’s what caught my ear.”Del’s fiery interpretation is what gives their songs heat.He promises concert attendees that the Del they know and love will be in appearance – there will be no new directions or genre bending for the group. It’s true blue – true bluegrass, anyway.