The eighth annual Del Fest returned to Cumberland, MD over Memorial Day weekend, and the family-friendly bluegrass festival once again featured a number of exciting collaborations.
The most notable sit ins came from two younger members of the McCoury clan, who joined the family bands on a couple of occasions throughout the festival. The first of them came during Friday night’s Del McCoury Band set, when Ronnie McCoury’s teenage son Evan and Rob McCoury’s three-year-old son Vassar joined the group on the main stage. Evan took up his guitar for a few songs, while the young Vassar treated the crowd to some fiddle work during one of the band’s back-and-forth jams. Saturday night saw Evan, and festival emcee Joe Craven, take the stage with the Travelin’ McCoury’s for a cover of the late B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone,” while Evan (who also played the fest with his own band The Broomestix) sat in with the Del McCoury Band featuring Roosevelt Collier on Sunday afternoon. The Travelin’ McCoury’s set also featured a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Cumberland Blues” and “Loser,” and the former tune was accompanied by a story about a conversation that Ronnie had with Jerry Garcia.
Paul Hoffman and Dave Bruzza of Greensky Bluegrass and Tim Carbone and Andy Goessling of Railroad Earth joined the Larry Keel Experience during their Thursday late night set, with Bruzza (who plays guitar with Greensky) taking up the drums for the set’s final tune. Railroad Earth then welcomed Greensky dobro player Anders Beck during the late show that followed. On Friday night, Carbone made an appearance for “Ain’t No Bread in the Breadbox” during Greensky Bluegrass, which also included sit ins from the Steep Canyon Rangers’ Nicky Sanders and The Bridge’s Cris Jacobs. Sunday’s Leftover Salmon late night show then featured guest appearances from the Travelin’ McCoury’s Jason Carter and Ronnie McCoury.
Other collaborations included a David Grisman sit in with Del McCoury Band for The Monroe Brothers’ “My Long Journey Home” on Friday, as well as an appearance from Del McCoury on “I’m Working on a Building” during Oteil Burbridge and Roosevelt Collier’s gospel set on Sunday.