Sunday Nov 13 1:25 PM
on Main Stage
Vince Gill says it simply, and maybe best: “I’d rather hear Del McCoury sing ‘Are You Teasing Me’ than just about anything.
“It gives hope to everybody—fifty years is a long time to be playing music in any field,” says another fan, Elvis Costello. “But to keep the purity that you need to do this kind of music, and the drive and the energy…takes a special kind of guy.
McCoury is something special, a living link to the days when bluegrass was made only in hillbilly honkytonks, schoolhouse shows and on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, yet also a commandingly vital presence today, from prime time and late night talk show TV to music festivals where audiences number in the hundreds of thousands. There’s no doubt that Celebrating 50 Years of Del McCoury is just that—a life’s work—but it’s no swan song. As far as that goes, Del’s already said it himself, and said it best; he may be 70, but as he sings in one of his own songs, co-written with country hit writer (and second generation bluegrasser) Harley Allen, “Don’t ever let it be said darling, that what I do don’t bring me joy…I’m a guitar-picking, bluegrass-singing, never grow up boy.