Del McCoury


Del McCoury was born in Bakersfield North Carolina and has made a home for himself at IBMA in Raleigh. He and his sons have put on some of the most memorable performances at the World of Bluegrass event in Raleigh.

In 2019 PineCone produced an epic “Delebration” at IBMA during which the McCoury Family was joined by Dierks Bentley, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Sam Bush and Jon Fishman from the band Phish. It created what many in Raleigh remember as “IBMA’s Woodstock Moment.” People were scaling the fences around Red Hat Amphitheater to get into the show.

“You’re a great audience, I tell ya,” said Del to a packed house at IBMA Bluegrass Live! powered by PNC.

Dierks Bentley says he leapt at the chance to join Del on stage at IBMA in Raleigh. “I tell people all the time that Del McCoury really is responsible for the success I’ve had in country music,” said Dierks to The Bluegrass Situation. “His work ethic is something everybody can learn from, and also the way he doesn’t compete with anybody else. That’s why he and the band are always laughing, having fun, in a good mood. The only person you’re competing with is yourself from the day before, trying to get better. In a town where everybody else talks shit all the time, they all enjoy what they’re doing because they’re not looking at what others are doing. Sure, Del looks back to Bill Monroe. But as far as contemporaries go, I’ve never seen a group of guys more present and having more fun. That’s an approach I’ve taken with country music, just trying to compete with myself. Whatever success I’ve had, it’s because of that.”

“McCoury’s own songs explode with beauty,” writes No Depression. “He sings songs about the human condition in a way that makes it almost easy to understand.” The magazine called his Grammy nominated album Almost Proud, “…an album that slots in with the best of his expansive canon.”

Alan Bartram plays bass in the Del McCoury Band. He told Bluegrass Situation, “…the longer he sings, the stronger he gets. God, I hope I have that stamina at his age. He hasn’t lost anything, even after we were shut down for most of 2020. Taking a lot of time off at his age, you can lose a step. I swear he didn’t.”

For his daughter Rhonda McCoury, Del is still just Dad. “…music was what he did for a living, no different from anyone else’s dad’s job. Ours plays music and sings.” Rhonda told writer David Menconi for a piece he wrote for The Bluegrass Situation. “But he’s always loved it so much. He had music on all the time, the band guys were over to rehearse inside and outside the house. School nights, we’d go to sleep hearing the band play downstairs.”

The Del McCoury Band was a finalist for the coveted Entertainer of the Year Award at the 2022 IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards in Raleigh. Later that same year he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album.