Cody Kilby leaves Skaggs for The Travelin’ McCourys

kilby_greyAfter 14 years slinging hot licks on guitar for Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Cody Kilby is moving to The Travelin’ McCourys.

The popular band, which is in effect, The Del McCoury Band absent the Del, has never had a full time guitarist, relying instead on their many friends in the biz to serve in the guest guitarist slot over the years. At different times it’s been Dan Tyminski, or Bryan Sutton; Keller Williams or Ronnie Bowman; Andy Falco or Bill Nershi.

But the very first to step into that role was Cody Kilby, when The Travelin’ McCourys made their stage debut at Wintergrass some years ago. He also has the distinction of serving most often in that spot. And now for the first time in their history, he’s been named the sole, full time guitarist with the group.

Travelin’ Ronnie McCoury says that the decision to add Cody came during DelFest this past spring.

“I guess we had our ‘a-ha’ moment at DelFest this year. We were on stage Saturday night and it was like a light bulb went on — with Cody, we really have the perfect combination. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy featuring guests and still plan to collaborate at times, but from now on, Cody will be involved in all of those shows. He is a great player, and fits perfectly with what we do — straddling the fence between traditional and progressive. No matter what we throw at him, he can handle it.”

Here’s a video from that performance, where it clicked for Ronnie and the rest of the guys.


The Travelin McCourys is Ronnie on mandolin, Rob McCoury on banjo, Jason Carter on fiddle, Alan Bartram on bass, and now Cody Kilby on guitar.

You can find their tour schedule online. The band is touring in the central and southeastern US through the end of this month.

Share this:

About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.