Monday, February 3, 2014

Southern roots, Minnesota appeal: The Travelin’ McCourys visit the Page

By Ena Moats
Cardinal Staff

Bluegrass band The Travelin’ McCourys traveled all the way from Nashville, Tennessee to the Page Theater for the snowy Tuesday night of Jan. 21, bringing their fiddles, banjos, and foot-tapping beats along with them.  Despite the cold weather and slippery conditions, a full house greeted the group.

Band members Ronnie and Rob McCoury, sons of the iconic Del McCoury, carry on the tradition of bluegrass, a genre characterized by its complex playing of a variety of string instruments.  Bluegrass music includes a rapid tempo and twangy vocals, with acoustic instruments accompanying each other as each takes a turn with the melody. Ronnie on mandolin, Rob on banjo, Jason Carter playing fiddle, and upright bass player Alan Bartram stayed true to this style, while also making the sound their own.

“The Travelin’ McCourys have their heritage--their father, Del McCoury, is Nashville royalty.  They are now the next generation with the foundation of bluegrass and the ability to expand,” said General Manager of the Page Theatre Patrick Grace.

The Travelin’ McCourys will tour throughout the United States during the year, the Page Theater being one of their first stops.  With so much time spent together on the road and the stage, bassist Alan Bartram made clear that a good group dynamic is “very important.  The less tension on the stage, the better we play.”

The band members, along with Del McCoury, also make up the grammy nominated group The Del McCoury Band, recognized on Sunday, Jan. 26 at the 56th annual Grammy Awards for their album, The Streets of Baltimore.

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