Tag Archives: The Travelin’ McCourys

The Travelin’ McCourys announce fall tour, New Years plans, and first ever recorded music

The Travelin’ McCourys announce fall tour, New Years plans, and first ever recorded music

The Travelin’ McCourys have a lot to be excited about. Today they announce the most extensive tour since their inception including several Grateful Ball dates (with Jeff Austin Band) and Bluegrass Ball dates across the country. They also just released their first recorded single ‘Cumberland Blues’ and are announcing plans to release a new recorded song every month for the foreseeable future leading to the eventual release of a full album.

You can listen to Cumberland Blues here: https://soundcloud.com/rainmakermanagement/cumberland-blues/s-oNhU3

And finally, the band is excited to announce plans for a 2 day New Years party with Del McCoury Band and Jeff Austin Band at Bluegrass Underground! Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, September 20th at 10am CST. Packages include hotels, food, yoga, Friday 12/30 with Del McCoury Band, Saturday 12/31 with multiple sets from Travelin’ McCourys and Jeff Austin Band (including a Grateful Ball set), and much more! Complete details can be found at: http://bluegrassunderground.com/new-years-eve-2017-countdown-underground/

Fall/Winter Dates include:

October 14 – Hillberry Music Festival – Eureka Springs, AR
October 20 – State Theatre – State College, PA (Grateful Ball with Jeff Austin Band) *
October 21 – Rex Theater – Pittsburgh, PA (Grateful Ball with Jeff Austin Band) *
October 22 – Ardmore Music Hall – Ardmore, PA (Grateful Ball with Jeff Austin Band) *
October 23 – Flying Monkey Performance Center – Bristol, NH (Grateful Ball with Jeff Austin Band)*
October 24 – Rams Head On Stage – Annapolis, MD (Grateful Ball with Jeff Austin Band)*
October 25 – Appalachian Brewing Company – Harrisburg, PA (Grateful Ball with Jeff Austin Band)*
October 26 – The Hamilton Live – Washington, DC (Grateful Ball with Jeff Austin Band)*
October 29 – Bluegrass Underground – McMinnville, TN (Grateful Ball with Jeff Austin Band)* SOLD OUT
October 30 – Suwannee Hulaween – Live Oak, FL
November 10 – Neighborhood Theatre – Charlotte, NC
November 11 – Imperial Theatre – Augusta, GA
November 12 – Riverhawk Music Festival – Brooksville, FL
November 13 – Terra Fermata – Stuart, FL
November 17 – Castle Theatre – Bloomington, IL (Bluegrass Ball with other band TBA)
November 18 – Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO (Bluegrass Ball with Nick Forster and Danny Barnes)
November 19 – The Garage at Knuckleheads – Kansas City, MO (Bluegrass Ball with Nick Forster and Danny Barnes)
November 20 – Bravo! Concert Series – Knoxville, IA
December 8 – Aggie Theatre – Ft. Collins, CO (Bluegrass Ball with Pert Near Sandstone)
December 9 – Caribou Room – Nederland, CO (Bluegrass Ball with Pert Near Sandstone)
December 10 – Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom – Denver, CO (Bluegrass Ball with Pert Near Sandstone)
December 15 & 16 – Isis Music Hall – Asheville, NC (Bluegrass Ball with Andy Thorn, Travis Book & Friends)
December 30 & 31 – Bluegrass Underground – McMinnville, TN

*The Bluegrass Ball includes a set from Jeff Austin Band, a set from Travelin’ McCourys, and a set with both bands together playing the music of The Grateful Dead


Kinfolk Celebration 2014

Kinfolk Celebration 2014   kinfolk2014_4.25x6_NEW_zoo   Our friends in the Yonder Mountain String Band are throwing one hell of a party at Planet Bluegrass in a couple of weeks!  With the bands regular special guests Jake Joliff and the fiery Allie Kral already making mad sparks with Adam, Ben and Dave they’re joined by super stars like John Bell of Widespread Panic, Ronnie McCoury and Jason Carter of the Travelin’ McCourys, Drew Emmitt and even the Patron Saint of Festivals Vince Herman. A once in a life time set of music and mayhem is on it’s way!  With full sets by The Travelin’ McCourys, Head For The Hills and the up and coming Gipsy Moon the fun will run till the wee hours of the night.  Tickets and information available HERE     Kinfolk Poster

Keller Williams, The Travelin’ McCourys team up for ‘Pick,’ summer festivals

Pick, to be released July 3, 2012 on SCI Fidelity Records, is the debut collaboration of Keller Williams and The Travelin’ McCourys. Pre-Orders for the album begin May 18th at www.kellermccoury.com (also www.kellerwilliams.net and www.travelinmccourys.com).

Those who pre-order Pick automatically get 2 entries into the Pick Me! sweepstakes, where one lucky person will win an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Nashville to hang with Keller, Del and The Travelin’ McCourys at their just-announced 2012 New Year’s Eve extravaganza at Marathon Music Works. Pick Me! and New Year’s Eve show details available at www.kellermccoury.com

It’s only after you hear Pick that you come to the inescapable realization that this is a meeting that was predestined. Williams, the über-distinctive singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who’s been described as a “one-man band for the new millennium,” is a tireless musical seeker for whom repetition is never an option. And The Travelin’ McCourys – bluegrass royalty nonpareil with a sharp eye toward innovation – have similarly been dubbed “twenty-first century musical pilgrims and adventurers.”

Pick, is a classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts—although the parts are rather massive on their own, to be sure. Recorded at Nashville’s famed Butcher Shoppe studios, the album’s dozen songs (both originals and covers) fully realize Americana music’s long storytelling tradition, and the impeccable musicianship displayed on Pick captures all of the heart and heartache of the bluegrass genre—and then some: Williams’ unconventional songwriting takes on even greater weight when backed by The Travelin’ McCourys’ emotive tones. Inspired by Keller’s fearless creativity, The Travelin’ McCourys’ flawless playing gains new depth.

Keller Williams with The Travelin’ McCourys will perform together at select summer festivals. The list of these very special shows is included below.

“I can hardly believe what a blast this collaboration has been so far,” says Williams. “To be in the presence of The Travelin’ McCourys is to be in the presence of greatness. Sometimes you’ll catch us trying not to smile when we play, just to make sure that at least some of the time the music takes precedence over the joy of playing it!”

With decades on the bluegrass circuit under their belt, The Travelin’ McCourys— Rob McCoury on banjo, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin, Jason Carter on fiddle and Alan Bartram on bass—approach their craft with simultaneous reverence for the bluegrass tradition (Ronnie and Rob are the sons of bluegrass icon Del McCoury) and an insatiable desire to move the music forward. Their tight rhythmic sense, jaw-dropping chops and soulful material, performed with an unshakable confidence, takes bluegrass from the safe confines of its predetermined shore into uncharted waters. They’ve played with the Allman Brothers Band, Phish, Warren Haynes and the Lee Boys—not exactly bluegrassers—and are constantly looking for new ways to redefine themselves.

“We like to play traditional bluegrass music the way we do it with Dad, but we also like to be able to step into situations where we can really stretch out,” Ronnie told JamBase. “If we need to plug in, we’ll plug in. We’re open to anything.”

That they were open to teaming with Keller Williams is no surprise. Over the course of his two-decade career, Williams has ceaselessly followed his singular muse, both in a live setting—where he might accompany himself on any number of instruments and electronics—and in the studio, where he’s recorded everything from reggae to rock to experimental music to children’s songs to, of course, bluegrass. Thief, Keller’s 2010 recording with the Keels, reached number #1 on Billboard’s bluegrass chart while last year’s Bass found him utilizing only that instrument throughout the album. Predictability? Not in his vocabulary.

On Pick, Keller Williams—armed this time only with acoustic guitar and a microphone—and The Travelin’ McCourys shine on a dozen tracks that perfectly demonstrate their collective reach, including several new Williams and band-written originals and a handful of surprise but choice covers, including My Morning Jacket’s “Amazed,” Steve Earle’s “The Graveyard Shift” and singer-songwriter Jessie J’s “Price Tag.” The album’s finale, Williams’ “Bumper Sticker,” benefits from a special guest appearance by the man himself, the 73-year-old legend Del McCoury. While the familiar elements of both Keller’s and the McCourys’ music are all in place, the sound that emerges from the troupe collectively takes all of the participants into fresh musical places, where tunefulness meets mystery, virtuosity, daring and a blast of a good time.

Pick is about good pickin’, but it’s about something more: what transpires when two seemingly disparate musical entities find that they have something special to say when they join forces. Pick will surely go down as one of the top picks of 2012 by many an awestruck fan and discriminating critic.


Keller Williams and The Travelin’ Mccourys special summer festival stops:
Friday, May 18 — Dominion Riverrock at Brown’s Island Richmond VA
Saturday, May 26 –  DelFest Cumberland MD (with special Keller Solo Set)
Friday, June 1 — Mountain Jam Hunter NY
Saturday, June 2 –  Wakarusa Ozark AR
Thursday, June 28 –  Electric Forest Rothbury MI
Tuesday, July 3 — Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua Washburn WI
Friday, July 6 — Deadwood Mountain Grand Deadwood SD
Friday, August 17 — The River Roots Live Music Festival Davenport, IA
Friday, September 14 –  Jomeokee Arts and Music Festival Pinnacle, NC 


Monday, December 31 — Marathon Music Works Nashville, TN
New Year’s Eve extravaganza with sets by Del McCoury Band,
Keller Williams (solo), and Keller Williams with The Travelin’ McCourys

Rex-A-Vision has a few words with The Travelin’ McCourys (Video)

The Travelin’ McCourys are as steeped in the heritage and traditions of bluegrass as any band has ever been, and their traveling Bluegrass Ball tour Is the raucous distillation of the form. Sired by legendary guitarist Del McCoury, one of the fathers of American bluegrass, brothers Rob and Ronnie McCoury have taken to the road with band mates Jason Carter and Alan Bartram to test the musical waters with artists from a vast array of backgrounds; from recording merged albums with the southern fried and gospel tinged Lee Boys to an upcoming album and tour with the one man jam band troubadour, Keller Williams.


Being that they step into the studio and onto the stage with many, the Ronnie and Rob occasionally call up their buddies, who happen to be some of the finest pickers in the business, to join them for a night or three.


This is exactly what happened in early January when the four “Travelin'” members joined up with guests, Billy Nershi (String Cheese Incident) and Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain String Band) for three nights in the three Midwestern cities of Bloomington, IN, Chicago, IL, and St. Louis, MO.


Honest Tune’s Rex Thomson caught all three nights of the stellar run and took the opportunity to sit down and chat with the guys. Spliced with recorded footage from the much sought after tune, “Death Trip,” that was performed in Bloomington, have a listen as the McCourys discuss their open stage policy, their plans for the forthcoming year, the experience of growing up under the direction of Del McCoury and much more.


Rex-A-Vision has a few words with The Travelin’ McCourys


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For more on The Travelin’ McCourys, log on to www.TheTravelinMcCourys.com or follow them on Facebook




An icy night in Bloomington is warmed up by Bluegrass Ball with McCourys, Austin & Nershi

The 2nd Annual Bluegrass Ball
The Travelin’ McCourys w/ Billy Nershi & Jeff Austin
(with The New Old Cavalry & White Lightning Boys)
The Bluebird Nightclub
Bloomington, IN
January 20, 2012




As an icy mixture fell from the sky, coating the town of Bloomington, Indiana and turning it into a twinkling ice covered wonderland, the folks at The Bluebird transformed the venue into its own wonderland for the 2nd annual Bluegrass Ball — a night of continuous music — hosted by the Travelin’ McCourys and friends Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain String Band), Billy Nershi (Emmitt-Nershi Band & The String Cheese Incident) and opening acts: White Lightning Boys and The New Old Cavalry.


The normal vibe of The Bluebird had been electrified, the twinkling iciness from outside was met head on by the twinkling lights that hung from the ceiling of the normally dark venue —  giving a feeling of being instantly tucked away into a late night private set at Horning’s Hideout.


The White Lightning Boys opened the evening, their picking breathing its own life into a unique blend of traditional and original bluegrass straight from the hills of the neighboring Indiana county that also is the home for the Bill Monroe Music Park. As the White Lightning Boys’ set ended, the front of the venue began to bustle as The New Old Cavalry filled the venue once again with American roots music.


Everyone had been primed, the salt had been thrown and as the Cavalry fired its final shot, The Travelin’ McCourys made their way onto the venue’s main stage — on every other night, it’s only stage — and opened with a stellar rendition of Del McCoury’s, “Quicksburg Rendezvous.” With that, Ronnie McCoury on the mandolin alongside brother and banjoist, Rob McCoury, and band mates Jason Carter (fiddle) and Alan Bartram (bass) sunk the night into overdrive.


As the night progressed, so did the foot stomping and twirling, and as planned, SCI’s Billy Nershi joined the ensemble for “Smokey Mountain Memories.” The picking continued into (not the Elvis Presley rendition of) “Devil in Disguise,” and a fan requested tune, “Delia.” Following in his legendary father’s footsteps, Ronnie took some time to engage the crowd with a little back and forth conversation, at one point, gesturing to several couples and asking them if the fellers would marry the ladies they were with. This element of showmanship and downright genuineness is something that never fails to create for an environment where one could see himself just as easily standing around a campfire with these musicians as he can looking up to them on stage.


After a short break, the second set opened up with a nine minute round of dueling mandolin players between the aforementioned McCoury and YMSB’s Jeff Austin, who battled over leads in the Yonder number, “Snow on the Pines,” before their comrades (including Nershi) rejoined the stage for a ripping rendition of  the Danny Barnes number, “Pretty Daughter” that gave Austin a trip on lead vocals.


Following a Nershi led “Heart of Saturday Night,” the lead was passed back to The Mccourys for a haunting, “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” who maintained their pole position with another tradition number, “On the Lonesome Wind,” the harmonies of vocal and strings ringing brilliantly through the Bluebird — proving once again how the blending of these three elements of the bluegrass genre under one roof on one stage was brilliant.


Following the traditional style of The McCourys, Austin’s ability to rage a mandolin like a madman on a murdering spree took front and center as the night was heated  nicely with “Five Hundred Miles” and Nershi subsequently kept things on an equable groove with his beloved brand of Cheese-psychedelia infused grass and the dearly loved number, “Jellyfish.”


The McCourys took things back with, “Rocky Road Blues,” into “Raleigh and Spencer” into “Think of What You’ve Done” before closing out the night with a change in the setlist that was all too befitting for the treacherously icy road conditions that awaited the Ball patrons, “Death Trip.”


The ball wrapped up with the New Old Cavalry playing to folks as they made their way to the icy streets, providing nightcap for one of the best nights of bluegrass that one could hope for.



Download an audience recording of this show here.


The Travelin’ McCourys with Jeff Austin & Billy Nershi – “Pretty Daughter” (Danny Barnes)


Click the thumbnail(s) to view more photos from the show by Amber Jennings

(Scroll down for the gallery from Aaron Lingenfelter)


Click the thumbnail(s) to view more photos from the show by Aaron Lingenfelter




Enter here for a chance to win Bluegrass Ball in Indy & St. Louis tickets…



Two things that we absolutely love here at Honest Tune truth in music and contests! So, we have decided to combine our love of the two by bringing an opportunity for you to catch some of the finest  bluegrass pickin’ — courtesy of The Travelin’ McCourys, Bill Nershi (String Cheese Incident, Emmitt-Nershi), and Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain string Band);

The events will bookend Chicago’s Bluegrass and Blues Festival and many fans are taking the opportunity to take in all three events. Well, we are pleased to present you, yes you, the opportunity to do so at the grand total of zero dollars (sans travel and other associated costs)

Over the past year, we have found ourselves in some unique positions with these artists, gathering exclusive footage for the ages (see below). So consider this a celebration of sorts… a celebration in the joy of giving.

But first, let’s have a look at who will be playing. (Bios courtesy of the artists)



The Artists


The Travelin’ McCourys


The Travelin’ McCourys do not stand still. They are on the road–and online–entertaining audiences with live shows that include some of the best musicians and singers from all genres. It’s always different, always exciting, and always great music. No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music. As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father’s work-a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives. And with fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful. But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenated.


Jeff Austin


Jeff Austin is best known for his many years playing mandolin for Colorado heavy hitters, Yonder Mountain String Band. Yonder has always played by their own set of rules bending bluegrass, rock and roll, and countless other influences. While most known for his playing with Yonder Mountain String Band, Jeff has played with countless musicians and is sought after by countless musicians and festivals alike.


Billy Nershi


From the saloons of Telluride to the some of the most sought after venues in America, Bill Nershi has delighted countless fans as a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and founding member of the String Cheese Incident. A seasoned veteran of flat-picking and a variety of acoustic styles, Nershi adds a unique, colorful perspective to virtually any musical situation he encounters, and his enthusiasm and playful spirit encourage an interactive, participatory experience for musicians and fans alike. His most recent forays into dobro, bass, and lap steel playing, as well as his accomplished songwriting contributions with Honkytonk Homeslice & the Emmitt-Nershi Band, prove that his musical horizons will only continue to expand.



Event Details


Who: The Bluegrass Ball featuring The Travelin’ McCourys, Jeff Austin, Bill Nershi and Head for the Hills



NIGHT ONE:  January 20, 2012 at The Bluebird – Bloomington, IN

NIGHT TWO: January 22, 2012 at The Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO



The Contest



What you are playing for:

1) You are entering to win a pair of tickets to The Bluegrass Balls hosted by The Travelin’ McCourys on 1/20  (in Indiana) and/or 1/22 performances in Missouri.

2) There will be two winners; one for 1/20 and one for 1/22. You can enter for both nights, but cannot win tickets for both.


How to enter:

1) After reading the eligibility requirements below, go HERE to enter for the pair of 1/20/12 tickets or HERE to enter for the pair of 1/22/12 tickets.


How a winner will be chosen:

1) All of the entered names will be copied from the survey site and pasted into a computer generated random name picker. All of this will be videotaped so that nobody can cry foul. To see examples of us using this tool, click here, here or here. Unfortunately, we cannot get Col. Bruce to pick names out of a beer pitcher every time. We would be a lot cooler if we could.

2) The deadline for entry is Thursday, 1/19/12 at 11:59 PM EST (for the 1/20 tickets) and 1/20/12 at 11:59PM EST (for the 1/22 tickets)

3) Good Luck!



Eligibility requirements


1) No previous or current Honest Tune editor/staff may enter.

2) Contributors may enter.

3) Only one entry per person (per date) will be allowed and IP Addresses are logged on the survey site.

4) Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and from within the continental United States.


Yonder Mountain String Band : Live, Backstage & Unplugged
(An Honest Tune Exclusive)

Emmitt-Nershi Band : Live, Backstage, & Unplugged
(An Honest Tune Exclusive)

The fine print: This contest and its management is the sole responsibility of Honest Tune. The contest is not endorsed or sponsored by The Travelin’ McCourys, The Bluegrass Ball, Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival or any artists represented herein . Any costs associated with the event (included but not limited to: lodging, travel, food, parking) will be the responsibility of the winner. IN other words, we are giving you the tickets and the rest is up to you. Honest Tune reserves the right to (at its sole discretion) disqualify entrants based upon lack of conformity to the entry process or other ineligibility as described in “Eligibility Requirements.” Tickets are not transferable. Odds of winning are based upon number of entries and the total value of each prize is $50.00.