CLEARWATER – The Travelin’ McCourys will take the stage Wednesday, Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m., at the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater.
Tickets start at $25. Tickets sales start May 15 at 10 a.m. Call 727-791-7400 or visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.
The McCoury brothers – Ronnie on mandolin and Rob on banjo – were born into the bluegrass tradition. Their father, Del, is among the most influential and successful musicians in the history of the genre. Years on the road with their father in the Del McCoury Band honed their knife-edge chops and encouraged the duo to imagine how traditional bluegrass could cut innovative pathways into 21st century music.
“If you put your mind, your skills and your ability to it, I think you can make just about anything work on bluegrass instruments,” said Ronnie in a press release from IVPR. “That’s a really fun part of this: figuring the new stuff out and surprising the audience.”
With fiddler Jason Carter, bassist Alan Bartram and latest recruit Cody Kilby on guitar, they assembled a group that could take what they had in their DNA, take what traditions they learned and heard and push the music forward. In fact, the band became the only group to have each of its members recognized with an International Bluegrass Music Association Award for their instrument at least once. There were peers, too, that could see bluegrass as both historic and progressive. Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees the Allman Brothers Band, improv-rock kings Phish and jam-band contemporary Keller Williams were just a few that formed a mutual admiration society with the ensemble.
Travelin’ McCourys concerts became can’t-miss events, whether headlining historic venues or as festival favorites, drawing the love and respect of a growing fanbase craving their eclectic repertoire. At the 2016 edition of DelFest, an annual gathering of the genre’s best – aptly named for the McCoury patriarch – the band delivered the take-away highlight.
“We’ve tried to pick songs we think people are going to enjoy,” said Ronnie. “Something we learned from our dad is that a good song is a good song. It can be done in any way.”
In 2018, Travelin McCourys released their long-awaited, self-titled debut album on the McCoury Music label. A brilliantly executed set overflowing with inventive style, and stellar musicianship, the 14-song collection is a culmination of their decades-long journey. The album won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album.
“The album definitely shows what we’ve evolved into as a band,” said Rob. “And, it’s a pretty good representation of what’s happening with the whole genre. The old bluegrass material is something I love but it’s been done many times. We’re forging ahead with our own sound. That’s what you have to do to make it all work.”