DelFest 9

Festival Experience Archive

for The Lot Scene by Parker

Sunday Highlights

Grand Ole’ Ditch

    It’s a good thing that Sunday is truly Funday, isn’t it?  I mean, by that point in a festival even the hardiest of us is beginning to feel the effects.  But, with the prospect of incredible music to motivate us, we pulled ourselves up, slugged some liquid caffeine, grabbed our gear and happily got right back to it!  Our first music of the day was at the Potomac Stage with Cumberland’s own and our buddies, Grand Ole’ Ditch.  So far it was a nice, mild day and great festival weather, the clouds providing a bit of reprieve from the warm sun.  The perfect climate for dancing to some awesome string band tunes.  “Allegheny Sun” was Ditch’s opener for the morning, the band choosing to launch into a sprightly song to kick things into gear for us and to help shake the cobwebs out of the old brain bucket.  The monster instrumental in the center of this one was a fun ride through some masterful music-making.  Craig Miller on banjo, “Fiddlin’ Ray” Bruckman on fiddle, both throwing down some nasty licks filling out this jam to the brim.  And then you hear Jacob Mathews’s bass coming through like a semi-truck of sound, popping out of the texture in a fantastic way only to be reabsorbed back into the mix, ever the foundation of the band’s harmonic fabric.  Jody Mosser accredited himself very well on the lead vocals in “Allegheny”, just one of the gents in the band who is featured as a singer.  That’s a great reason to love Ditch:  that special “many bands in one” quality that some bands manage to accomplish through having many “lead singers” belting out all different kinds of songs.  It can really add to a band’s breadth and depth.  Craig stepped up to the mic for the next number, “Take Me Back” from their Big Red Ball album, sounding fantastic on this Sunday morning.  He surely sounded better than I did at the time.  Haha.  There was some excellent fiddle work from Ray in this version of “Take Me Back” pretty early on which was, in turn, complemented by Miller’s banjo stylings a bit further into things.  I was loving the vocal harmonies in this one, too.  There’s quite a few members of Grand Ole’ Ditch and, as such, you get the opportunity for some pretty big vocal texture which is supremely satisfying to the musical palate.  Their next tune they dedicated to Craig’s son, which is always nice thing to see.  Family, right?  Precisely.  Lots of great Jody dobro going on throughout in this instrumental.  My goodness do I love the timbre of that instrument — the sound is just so entrancing.  Especially in the hands of an expert player like Mosser.  Pappy Biondo, Joe Dep, and Brittany Haas then joined the Ditch boys on stage for a rollicking good time in the form of “Mama Don’t Allow No Music”, a rowdy Jody-led piece.  And, it just so happens we have a nice, big clip of the whole thing to show you right here: 

Now wasn’t that just a kick in the pants?  Super fun times with super great musicians.  That’s pretty much DelFest in a nutshell.  Then it was time for some music from their new album, Unwind:  “Copper Coal Kettle” is a gritty, dirty, but oh-so-good trip through some western Maryland newgrass.  Craig was back on the vocals for this one leading the band through the wide and varied musical landscape to include the super Pink Floyd-feeling mellow middle breakdown that picks up into a more of a party tempo at a moment’s notice thanks to the deft drumming of Todd Hocherl.  Later on down the set we were treated to more of the new album with the title track, “Unwind”, a speedy and catchy ditty to be sure.  One that will find its way into your mind often.  It certainly whipped the crowd into a joyous frenzy well enough:  lots of dancing.  Lots.  The gents all sounded fantastic on their respective instruments, too, trading solo parts back and forth so adeptly.  They took “Unwind” directly into a personal favorite of mine, “Pigeon Eatin’ Catfish”, another fast-paced, energetic romp and stomp of bluegrass enjoyment led by Miller on the vocals.  This one gave the boys each an opportunity to rock it out on their chosen instruments, like Lucas Mathews’s phatty solo on mandolin counterpointing all of Jody’s crazy amazing dobro goodness.  Another incredibly fun ride at the hands of Grand Ole’ Ditch.  What a Sunday morning show!!  Wowsers.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Ray and his fiddle in this one as well — so very good.  There is no doubt that man earned his nickname very honestly.  Jody’s dobro provided the sweet lead in for the next number to which Ryan Hohing’s guitar answered, firing up this instrumental as each member came in one by one.  I hadn’t heard this one before and didn’t catch its name, sadly, because I was really into its mellow groove.  Some tunes are just super pleasant, right?  More lovely mando work from Luke stood out for me here, only to be answered by Craig’s banjo and Ray’s fiddle.  Really dug that little tune.  Finally, a bit later on, they closed down their set with a speedy version of Jerry Garcia’s “Shady Grove” which turned into a giant dance-fest out in the crowd.  We were eating it up, too…like a pigeon eatin’ catfish.  A supremely fine way to finish up another DelFest show for these hometown heroes.  An encore opportunity saw the band play “Blue Light” which was pure bluegrass right up to the last note.  And it was yet one more fast dancin’ song, too!  Kicking up our heels until the very end, not a bad way to start a Sunday.  So many thanks to Grand Ole’ Ditch for all the smiles and magnificent music.  Sure would love to get these fellas out to Colorado…hmmmm.  Might just have to see about that.  Cheers, boys!!

Grand Ole' Ditch and Friends

Grand Ole' Ditch and Friends

Cabinet

    Main stage time with Pennsylvania’s Cabinet.  How lucky was that?  From the first time I saw these gentlemen (at DelFest, no less), I was hooked on their particular style of string band badassery.  High energy?  Damn straight.  Great songwriting?  Damn skippy.  Olympic-level musicianship?  Damn right.  There are so many reasons to love this band, I could write the entire remainder of the review on just that.  But, I bet you’d like to read a bit about their music now, wouldn’t you?  So would I!  Let’s do that!  They took a groovy, mellow approach to the intro of their first song, beguiling all of us and bringing us further in before letting loose with “Hit It on the Head” in full force, guitars blazing and fiddle wailing away, banjo on the merry bandwagon, too.  Boom!  And we were all hit on the head with some Cabinet.  Todd Kopec’s familiar fiddling was ever-present throughout, sewing this song together like a musical needle and thread, shred and thread.  So much of that tasty good up energy that you can expect so very much of from this band.  They took this directly into “Celebration” with Pappy Biondo at the helm for the lead vocals.  His cousin, J.P. Biondo was dominating the mando as usual, working that wee fretboard like the pro that he is.  Pappy threw down some of his unique banjosity for us, too, rounding out that comprehensive ensemble sound that is Cabinet.  Great message to this song, as well…we really do need to love one another.  Like sisters and brothers.  Music like this never lies.  A little later in the set, the band introduced Josh Karis, their new drummer, to the crowd during the soft and intense building intro to “Caroline”.  Of course, we all applauded and cheered and made the newest member of the Cabinet family feel welcome.  And then “Caroline” built and built and built based on the singing of the band and the crowd (as encouraged) as well as the energy of the percussion section, Karis and Jami Novak.  They traded the mellower feeling for a bounce back up to the rafters once more with “Shined Like the Sun” which they went directly into through a big, bold jam.  What a roller coaster ride!!  So much good music coming out of those speakers at us.  Pappy was back up to the mic for “Shined”, crooning to us in that signature voice of his.  Really dug Dylan Skursky’s bass line in this one — it stuck out for me in a positive way, driving the song forward and dovetailing into the drums doing the same.  Not always easy to get all the bass you might want in a big band…no complaints though.  Nothing like the musical texture of a band like Cabinet.  Todd also nailed down a serious fiddle solo about hallway through only to hand things off to Mickey Coviello on electric guitar for a mighty fine solo of his own then only to give the reigns back to Kopec and then back to Mickey once more.  Damn.  Incredible work gents.  Super fun musical moments.  Later still in their set, J.P. stepped up to the mic to take lead vocals on “Bottom of the Sea” which we have for you now, good people: 

Pretty wonderful music, right friends?  I mean, you can see this band’s huge appeal, right?  Just wait until you see them live if you haven’t already.  Further on down the line came the rip-roaring thrill-a-minute known as “Susquehanna Breakdown”, an instrumental of enjoyably monstrous proportions.  Lots and lots of wicked good soloing on all instruments, from mando to banjo to guitar to fiddle and back again and again.  Holy schneikies!  So very good!  And, just like, that…BANG!! The song was over and we were all reeling from the shockwave of awesome.  The boys in the band invited their friend Sierra Hull out to play with them on the next song, “99 Years (And One Dark Day)”, Cabinet’s premier prison song.  That was something I felt was even more in abundance this year at DelFest:  guesting in.   There just seemed to be that much more it going on which was wonderful.  Mickey had a supremely good guitar solo in “99 Years”, in addition to Sierra’s amazing work, herself.  That lady is such a superb player and such a great guest to have sit in.  Brava!  “Cut Down Tree” served as the closer for this huge main stage set from Cabinet.  Pappy was back at the mic for another solo and took us deftly to the end of the show.  All the gents took their chance at another soloing go round pretty much all song long, instruments shining as their notes rang out in unison or harmonies with their fellows.  And when things kicked double time for the breakdown?  Forget about it.  Just ridiculous.  And a favorite of the crowd unless my eyes deceived me…some seriously crazy dancing going on out there in front of the stage.  Huge ending had us all cheering for more.  What a show from these boys from Pennsylvania!  A big time thanks to them and all their people for making it to DelFest this year and adding their own brand of everything amazing to the mix.  Cheers, fellas!!  

Cabinet

Cabinet

The Del McCoury Band

    Sunday evening and so it was that we all got another go round with Del McCoury and his magnificent band.  Gathered in front of the DF main stage, we all readied ourselves for another exquisite set of classic bluegrass and audience favorites.  And, of course, to hear our dear Pappy Del sing to us once more.  As the gents took the stage in their best dress, we wondered at what precisely might be in store for us this eve.  They certainly didn’t waste any time getting things going with “Loneliness and Desperation”, Rob McCoury leading everything off with his almighty banjo.  Jason Carter’s fiddle shone throughout the song as well, providing a fitting complement to Del’s quintessential bluegrass voice.  Not to be outdone by his brother or Jason, Ronnie McCoury delivered a might mandolin solo to the delight of the crowd…almost as much delight as when Del hit those hight notes.  Talk about a way to make a Del audience smile ear to ear and give a hoot and holler, too.  High notes.  Yes, please.  “She’s Left Me Again” was their second song of the evening, a sad tale meted out in very incredible three-part harmony between Del, Jason, and Ronnie.  Just fabulous through and through.  One of the many, many reasons I love bluegrass music so much is that very thing:  incredible harmonies.  And Del rooting things down on guitar alongside Alan Bartram on bass, classic bluegrass style.  Boy does their music certainly evoke strong feelings in a person, transporting her/him to far off places and back again.  Truly delightful.  Ronnie was up to the mic to lead things in the direction of “Thanks A Lot”, a personal favorite of mine and of much of the audience, apparently.  Great minds think alike, right?  Some supremely fine fiddle coming down from Carter’s neck of the stage during this song answered by Ronnie’s own getting down on mando.  Quite seriously, these have to be some of the very best musicians in the genre.  Hell, in many genres for that matter.  Good times and very happy with the show thus far!  A little later down the set, Del took the lead again for “Same Kind of Crazy”, a song about finding just that perfect mirrored freak in your intended counterpart.  Love at first madness, maybe?  Or maybe just shared madness.  Del certainly had his own feelings on the issue to be sure.  Great back and forth between everyone in the band during the breakdowns between the verses — really exceptional music.  Next up was a wicked fast fiddle tune led by Jason but featuring every single man’s fingers flying over fretboard of his chosen instrument.  I missed the name of the tune but I didn’t miss a note of that freight train barreling towards us all at a ludicrous speed (any Spaceballs fans out there?) colliding with our consciousness and inspiring smile after smile after smile.  So freakin’ fast they play.  So fast!  Superheroes dwell among us my friends…know them by the musical demigod aura they most assuredly emanate.  And Del and band might have just as well been the musical Avengers.  Alan Bartram was up the microphone for lead vocals on the next song, a slower number called the “Kentucky Waltz”.  And, it just so happens that we recorded the entire thing just for you, friend!!  How lucky, right? 

My gosh does that bass playin’ man have some seriously awesome vocal cords!  I do so love it when he sings us one.  Then came one of those crowd pleasers I was talking about:  “Henry Walker”.  Del at the helm, he sang us through this dark tale with grace and style, his band of merry music makers in full support.  A little further down the set, Woody Guthrie’s grandson came out to play dobro with them for the next number, Guthrie’s own “Californy Gold”.  Carter was on point with his fiddle providing some lovely color to the song, notes floating over and around the lyrics sung by Del.  Nothing like getting to hear a little dobro alongside Del Band, right?  Maybe they’ll hire a full-time dobro player…a boy can dream, can’t he?  Speaking of dobro, Woody’s grandson certainly knew his way around the instrument, laying down a mean solo for us a few minutes in.  Further on into the set, Ronnie’s son, Evan, joined in on guitar for some of the fun as well as Conner Broome on the keys.  Del crooned out the lyrics to this one for us, teaching us all about coming to terms with life’s sad state of affairs when it comes to love.  Or lack thereof.  “Learnin’ the Blues” is a, ahem, blueprint for doing just such a thing.  Loved the interplay between Jason and Rob on this one, fiddle and banjo shining out respectively.  Conner nailed his keyboard solo to the ground, it certainly must be said.  That young man has a very bright musical future, indeed.  A bit later still “Black Jack County Chains” was on the docket for us, Del at the mic to give us more of what we all wanted, what we all came for.  “Feel it in your bones” bluegrass.  Ah, so nice.  And such a robust set chock full of it, too.  You always get so much from a Del Band show, quality, quantity, you name it.  Close on “Black Jack’s” heels came the bullet train experience that is “All Aboard”, Evan McCoury still on stage playing guitar alongside these greats and more than holding his own.  Always and forever the crowd pleaser, this one didn’t disappoint that night in Cumberland, you can count on that.  The band’s instruments rang out measure after measure constantly building and rebuilding the texture as the song hurtled along at Del speed.  (Which is a mightily speedy speed at that!)  I have distinct and pleasant memories of Ronnie’s mandolin that keep coming back to me when I think about this song.  What a way to close out a show!!  Then, after a short time offstage, the band returned and Vassar McCoury, Rob’s young son, joined in for the first encore alongside his cousin, Evan…and which song?  Why “Cold Rain and Snow”, of course.  There were quite the number of voices singing along with Del to this one.  I can’t imagine why.  Jason showed us all how it’s done a number of times taking up the melody line on his fiddle and killing it.  And I’ll always love hearing Del play guitar, hearing him lead those chords, picking away.  And, boy, does that gentleman sure look stately when holding that six-string.  After “Cold Rain and Snow” they launched into a big, fun version of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” which was followed by the “Whitehouse Blues”.  So it was to be hard drivin’, fast pickin’ until the very end, huh?  Well, alrighty then, if we must, we must.  And we did.  Lightning quick work all around from every man, Rob and Ronnie hot on their instruments, Jason and Alan working the same and then Del, of course, rhythm guitar to the core.  One helluva big encore ender for a big, big show.  And the screams from the crowd — deafening in such an awesome way.  Del and his band had done it once again.  They had performed the magic spells and created that cosmic awesomeness once more that is their fabulous music.  And I was so grateful to have heard it all.  So grateful.  A massive thanks to Mr. McCoury, the members of his band, and to all those hard-working folks in Del and DelFest’s employ for such an incredible time and festival.  Cheers to one and all for making things so very special this year!!

The Del McCoury Band

The Del McCoury Band

Greensky Bluegrass

    And bringing up the closing spot on the main stage for DelFest 9, you say?  Why it just so happens that it was Greensky Bluegrass, those wild and wonderful fellows from Kalamazoo, MI.  And they helped bring the outdoor portion of DF to an end in a mighty fine fashion, playing hits and covers and all the good stuff.  Truly this band gets better and better each time I see them, a trend that has continued for many years now and doesn't seem to show any signs of slacking anytime soon.  Our boys got things going with a rousing “Jaywalking” after Joe Craven’s simply stellar introduction of the band.  It seemed a perfect beginning in the cooling night air, the stars peeking out over Cumberland.  Here is some video footage of that very song and including Joe’s intro (which you’ll dig).  Please enjoy!! 

And now you’re off to the races with us!  Not too shabby a start, no?  Let’s keep going!  A quick-paced “Burn Them” followed “Jaywalking”, Paul Hoffman back at the microphone for the lead.  Some adept work from Dave Bruzza on guitar served to color the landscape of the song as did that mando of Paul’s.  Let us not forget Anders Beck’s dobro, either.  Ever present as a part of the musical fabric or standing out to solo, that sound is unmistakable and always welcome.  “What if sorrows swim?”  Not the most attractive prospect.  Guess we’ll need to burn them, right?  A little later in the setprovided us with a lengthy and super fun “Broke Mountain Breakdown”, an instrumental of monumental proportions.  Simply astounding work all around from each member of the band.  Bruzza’s guitar singing out into the night air, Hoffman’s mando taking care of the high end of things with aplomb, Beck and his dobro.  That lovely, lovely dobro.  Made for a great combined moment when all the band stopped for a big “Del Yeah!” right in the middle of the tune.  Michael Bont’s solo a couple of minutes into the piece was nothing short of inspired.  And that’s the way things continued throughout “Broke Mountain”, with the solo passing back and forth like a jar of shine, from member to member and back again.  What a breakdown it was, too!  So much good music for 10 plus minutes.  Talk about your value, right?  That and so much more.  Hoffman even threw in some tiny “I Feel Like Bustin’ Loose” teases for good measure.  Love it!  Further still down the set we got this big version of “Demons” that went directly into Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark”.  “Demons” sounded fantastic, augmented in all the right ways by Paul’s baller mandolin solo not to mention his spot-on vocals.  No doubts that gentleman can sing and sing very well.  Big, meaty guitar solo from Dave in this one, too.  Really made for a robust version of the song, especially with Anders answering on so deftly on dobro.  “Dancing in the Dark” saw Hoffman channel his inner Boss while laying down some of that all-American music Springsteen is so well-known for.  It certainly was a nice treat for the crowd, lots of whom took the opportunity to sing along with Phoffman.  Good times to be sure.  Next up was the heartfelt and mellow but intense “In Control”.  Such a lovely song and so well executed at DF that night.  So much tasty, tasty dobro from Mr. Beck throughout the song…makes for such an enjoyable musical journey.  Gorgeous ensemble work here, too, giving license for the boys to do some rather pretty things over the top, like Mike’s banjo solo soaring over the remaining instrumental framework like a bird on the wing.  They took this directly into “Letter to Seymour” which followed, Dave Bruzza at the mic for lead vocals.  Hard drivin’, fast pickin’ was the name of this game, their fingers so many blurs as they screamed over the smoking fretboards assembled on stage.  Now that’s what we call good music!  Later on down the set the fellas gave us a nice long version of “Leap Year” which we ate up with glee.  Nothing like getting a long, righteous jam from these insanely skilled individuals.  Which meant lots of magnificent soloing, of course!  And thank all the music gods for that!  Bruzza was a beast on that guitar of his, moving things forward with a buoyant energy which he handed off to Hoffman, who took things and ran with them on his mando.  All this incredible only led us to some mellow stylings from your man, Mr. Beck, on that legendary dobro of his…and to a super chill central jam in the middle, Bruzza back around to dominate again.  You just get so much song when you plug into that GSBG energy.  And this continued for a lovely, lengthy 13:42.  Like I said, so much song.  Classic Phoffman at the ending part of the jam and song with some big “I Feel Like Bustin’ Loose” teases…I think we’ve all come to rely on those over the past little while with these gents.  And you never really know what the Phoff is going to do once under those colorful lights.  More classic GSBG with their chosen closer, “Atlantic City”.  Certainly one of the favorite covers songs of Greensky fans, this crowd seemed super happy to be getting this one as made apparent by their cheers and singing along.  It made for a very fitting ending to this final main stage set at DelFest 9.  The hoots and screams at the close of the song were mighty, indeed.  It was an intense and special moment.  The boys really sounded polished and professional all night long, doling out a strong setlist of super great music, great choices abounding for this DF crowd.  A giant round of applause to every member of this fantastic band!  Thank you all, as always, for what you do for you do it so very well.  Thank you for sharing your music with us!  See you in Telluride!!

Greensky Bluegrass

Greensky Bluegrass

Late Night - The Travelin’ McCoury’s featuring Keller Williams

    Keller.  The McCourys.  Together.  Live.  I almost don’t really need to write any more than that.  But I will because you need to hear at least a bit about how awesome this was.  Besides, this was the final music of DelFest 9, the last notes would be played in the Music Hall that night.  Plus, I mean:  Keller.  The McCourys!  I mean, come on.  Let’s do this, shall we?  They kicked things off with a nice, long “Port-a-potty Line” (the song, not the line), building things from a super quiet intro through more and more intensity, the tempo increasing until they all launched into the lyrics.  Funny, weird, and wonderful as always, that’s Keller’s music.  And, in the hands of the McCourys, something special, indeed.  Some really fine banjo from Mr. Rob McCoury at the behest of Keller Williams was surely welcome.  Then some of the same from Rob McCoury on mandolin.  Great energy to get all this going…lots of dancing feet, still up and running after days of the same.  I was proud of my community.  A little bit further into the set, we got a double-barreled whammy in the form of “I Am Elvis” directly into “Hot Stuff”.  Another super mellow and spacey intro began this one, like on the album but a bit grittier, minutes stretching out into note after note, the quiet intensity changing ever so slowly into more and more until the familiar strains of the song proper take hold and the lyrics begin to spin out their craziness.  Suffice it to say, this one takes you places.  And it took us that night right smack into some of Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff”.  I’ve seen them do this song before and it’s really grown on me.  Nothing like watching a bunch of bluegrassers channel their inner disco soul diva.  These two songs did make for quite the pairing for a “to the very end” late night dance fest.  And they were just sounding so very good playing together.  I seriously urge you to see this act if it ever comes your way…you will not be disappointed.  Like we weren’t disappointed remotely with Jason Carter’s fiddle playing in this one.  Talk about your hot stuff!  They played some numbers from the Pick album they all recorded together a few years ago, too, which sure was a treat.  Like Alan Bartram up to the mic for the lead vocals on “Messed Up Just Right” a favorite song around The Lot Scene offices.  Who doesn’t love clever word play?  And really good bluegrass music.  Add those together, and you’ve got yourself a stew goin’!  Bartram knocked the lyrics out of the park, of course.  It is no secret that man sings like a champ.  Some nice moments from Ronnie and Jason, too.  An all-around excellent version of this song.  Bravi!  Then it was time to take a little walk with the Dead, “Candyman” style.  Keller was our lead man on this one, singing to a crowd who was singing along with him, the words so familiar to so many.  This is just a great song to begin with…then you add the gents on stage and some DelFest to the mix?  You had best stand back!  What a pleasantly volatile cocktail that was!!  They followed this with another great cover, Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky Babe”, with a little bit of a vocal percussion intro from Keller.  Fantastic arrangement of this song…really stayed true to the original but grassed it up in so many new ways at the same time.  Besides, what crowd doesn’t like a little Tom Petty?  Or a little Cody Kilby on guitar while they’re at it?  Just how incredible is he?  No, really.  My hat is ever off to Mr. Kilby — such skills that pay the bills!!  Further down the set we were gifted with a lengthy “Broken Convertible” with some awesome breakdowns in it.  Lots of great jams in this set so far!  Keller hammed it up something wonderful on the vocals for this one, the gents in harmonic support sounding superb themselves.  A lovely round-robin of solo work from all the members of the band in this one, too.  Rob, Ronnie, Jason, everyone sounded amazing, nice long jams giving them the opportunity to really shine.  Cody and Alan had their own moments, of course.  This was a big song with all sorts of music coming at us.  It was magnificent.  This was followed by more Dead with “I Know You Rider” which whipped that late night crowd into a hopping frenzy of fun loving and music mischief.  “I wish I was a headlight on a northbound train!” rang the lyrics from the mouths of every person in the building, as we all screamed our happiness together.  Sizzling hot fiddle from Jason in this one…so very good.  Perfect.  And then there was that smokin’ banjo solo from the Five-String Flamethrower right at the end which capped things off in excellent fashion.  Bam!  Just like that!  Finally, later on a bit it was time to bring this marvelous set of music to a fitting end and what could have been more fitting than “Bumper Sticker”?  I mean, the song calls out so many folks at DF this year by name, included Del, himself.  It’s like a roster of great music within more music.  How great is that?  Despite it being late, we even got a cameo from Lisa McCoury, Rob’s wife, who came out and danced a bit for us.  It was fantastic.  This is a fast picker for sure, too, and the boys all just nailed down tight ensemble sound in quick time.  And then, wham!  It was over and we were all cheering like maniacs for an encore.  Which, luckily, we got…gratefully.  And some Foster the People, too.  Have you heard Keller and the McCourys’ version of “Pumped Up Kicks”?  It’s pretty sweet, I must admit.  And, what’s that?  More incredible vocal harmonies overlaying wicked hot instrumentals?  Oh, please no.  Anything but that!  Rob was on fire on his banjo, fingers making it smoke from head to foot.  Colby?  Guitar god again as usual?  You bet your boots, friends.  Ronnie?  Pure domination on mandolin?  And with some “Hot Stuff” teases, too?  Oh, Ronnie.  Good stuff.  And that central breakdown.  Whew!  What a thrill ride!  Jason Carter laid down some deadly seriously fiddle as the band jammed around him with reckless abandon.  Suffice it to say, this monster encore brought the house down at the end just like you’d have expected…faster and faster and faster until the very last vocals heralding the end of DelFest 9.  A few thank yous and lots and lots of cheering and then, it was all over.  So quickly, seeming, and yet, we’d been at this for days.  But, what a way to end it all!  What a DelFest!  What a weekend!  Many thanks to The Travelin’ McCourys and to Keller Williams for ushering us all to the other side with music unparalleled and enough energy to see us all back to our homes safely the following day.  

The Travelin' McCourys featuring Keller Williams

The Travelin' McCourys featuring Keller Williams

    And, while I’m on the subject of giving thanks, I merely want to say another round of thank yous to Del McCoury, his family, his band, and his people for all the magic they instill in DelFest, for all the warm welcoming they do all weekend long, and for simply being wonderful folks.  Thanks to all the bands for the stellar music offerings throughout our days in Cumberland — your music clearly helped to make this the best DelFest yet.  Bravi to one and all!!  And a huge thanks to my community, my bluegrass family, my fellow Deltopians…you always make it so easy to do this thing that we do, and a helluva lot of fun to boot.  I really can hardly wait for next year’s 10th Anniversary DelFest.  Talk about your shenanigannery!!  Guess we’ll just all have to wait a spell and see…

The McCoury Family

The McCoury Family

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Thanks for reading everyone!!  Next up?  Telluride!!

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