Del McCoury Band Heads to Stage at Ryman

The Del McCoury Band will return to the stage where Bluegrass was born on July 29 for the 17th annual Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman.
Since McCoury began pickin' bluegrass nearly 50 years ago, he has been a great ambassador for traditional bluegrass, becoming the most awarded act in the history of bluegrass over the past two decades, according to a press release.
In June, McCoury was honored by being chosen as one of nine recipients for the National Endowment for the Arts' highest honor, the National Heritage Fellowship. Those recognized for the award are chosen for their artistic excellence and their efforts to conserve America’s cultures for future generations.
“I’m truly overwhelmed,” said McCoury. “All I’ve ever done is play the music I love, and I feel very fortunate just to have made a career of it. To receive an honor like this for doing something you love seems almost unreal, but I am very thankful.”
The award comes in the midst of a public controversy involving McCoury and his annual music festival, DelFest, that has come to a close after six-weeks of confusion.
On June 3, the Cumberland Times published a press release from the Allegany County Liquor Board chairman Gerald Delaney that accused DelFest and High Sierra Music Foundation of violating laws regarding their liquor license. 
The dispute became very public and lead to the formation of the “Pale Ale Army,” a local coalition of nearly 1,400 people that overwhelmed county and state offices with calls, faxes and emails demanding immediate action. This lead to the resignation of Chairman Delaney on July 9. A press release drafted by the county attorney on behalf of the County Commissioners confirmed no official complaint had ever been filed, no investigation had ever been initiated and the Liquor Board had no intention of pursuing the matter.
Included in the press release were signs of confidence that when DelFest applies for a 2011 liquor license it would be approved.
“I do think a lot of good came from this,” McCoury said. “Over a thousand people are now involved in local government and local charitable work and have seen the impact they can have.”
“We might have walked away if it had not been for the overwhelming show of support from the community,” McCoury said.
The DelFest Foundation will join forces with the “Pale Ale Army” in August as they plan to distribute more than $20,000 to local charities.

For more information concerning DelFest, visit, and for tickets to the July 29 Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman, go to