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Del McCoury

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Delano Floyd McCoury (born February 1, 1939 in Bakersfield, NC) is an American bluegrass musician. As leader of The Del McCoury Band, he plays guitar and sings lead vocals along with his two sons, Ronnie McCoury and Rob McCoury who play mandolin and banjo respectively.

McCoury has had a long career in bluegrass. Although originally hired as banjo player, he sang lead vocals and played rhythm guitar for Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys in the 1960s, with whom he first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1963. McCoury briefly appeared with the Golden State Boys, before taking a series of day jobs in construction and logging, while continuing to work as an amateur musician in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. In the 1980s his sons began performing with him, and they relocated to Nashville, Tennessee as they began to attract attention. He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in October of 2003.

Del has an enthusiastic fan base known as the Del-Heads. Their base of operations is rumored to be located on Whitelick Creek near Brownsburg, Indiana. The mysterious leader of the Del-Heads is Doc Waddell, an extraordinay picker in his own right.

McCoury has influenced a great number of bands, including Phish, with whom he has shared the stage several times, and who have covered his songs. He has also performed with String Cheese Incident and Donna The Buffalo, and recorded with Steve Earle. McCoury has covered songs by artists as diverse as The Lovin’ Spoonful, Tom Petty, and Richard Thompson. McCoury has appeared at festivals including Bonnaroo, High Sierra, and the Newport Folk Festival.

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