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Del McCoury Band

The Company We Keep – 2005 (McCoury Music)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Del McCoury Band

The opening song to the new Del McCoury Band album may be, "Nothin' Special,' but the chokehold that McCoury and company have on their traditional bluegrass sound certainly qualifies for extra-special status by now. With 40 years in the business, McCoury has more than earned a little coasting time, but this disc isn't it.

The emphasis, at least in the liner notes and the cover photos, is on family and friends, those people who we travel through life with that help us along the way. That theme carries through in the music, too, on, "Fathers and Sons," "Never Grow Up Boy" and, "If Here Is Where You Are." The musicianship, as always, is stellar, and McCoury's unvarnished mountain tenor has long gone from acquired taste to a comfortably familiar voice that connects bluegrass past, present, and future. That his band does the same is a testament to its continued standing atop the ties-that-bind nature of the best in bluegrass.

If the album's back cover photo is any indication, there will be another McCoury generation coming along in a few years to carry on that tradition.