The Travelin' McCourys won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album, their eponymous album, released in 2018.
Congratulations to The Travelin’ McCourys on their GRAMMY Award for “Best Bluegrass Album,” which was announced yesterday. The band’s eponymous debut album was released on May 25th of last year after decades of playing-- the GRAMMY nod pointing to both the band’s work ethic and their innovative style of bluegrass, which honors the genre’s tradition and drives it forward.
The McCoury brothers-- Ronnie (mandolin) and Rob (banjo) -- were born into the bluegrass tradition. Talk about a source abundant and pure: their father, Del, is among the most influential and successful musicians in the history of the genre. Years on the road with Dad in the Del McCoury Band honed their knife-edge chops, and encouraged the duo to imagine how traditional bluegrass could cut innovative pathways into 21st century music.
With fiddler Jason Carter, bassist Alan Bartram, and latest recruit Cody Kilby on guitar, they assembled a group that could take what they had in their DNA, take what traditions they learned and heard, and push the music forward. In fact, the band became the only group to have each of its members recognized with an International Bluegrass Music Association Award for their instrument at least once. There were peers, too, that could see bluegrass as both historic and progressive. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, The Allman Brothers Band, improv-rock kings Phish, and jamband contemporary Keller Williams were just a few that formed a mutual admiration society with the ensemble. Ronnie, Rob, Jason, and Alan are past GRAMMY nominees and winners with The Del McCoury Band-- this is the first nomination for The Travelin' McCourys as a whole.
The Travelin’ McCourys is a brilliantly executed set overflowing with inventive style, stellar musicianship, and, of course, plenty of burnin’ grass, the 14-song collection is a true culmination of their decades-long journey. From the headwaters of Bill Monroe and the waves of Jerry Garcia to a sound both rooted and revolutionary, soulful and transcending that belongs only to the Travelin’ McCourys.
“The album definitely shows what we’ve evolved into as a band. And, it’s a pretty good representation of what’s happening with the whole genre,” says Ronnie. “The old bluegrass material is something I love but it’s been done many times. We’re forging ahead with our own sound. That’s what you have to do to make it all work.”