Rob McCoury – 5 String Flamethrower

Rob McCoury - 5 String FlamethrowerFor a good many banjo players, calling yourself a 5 string flamethrower might seem a bit pretentious. But for Rob McCoury, who’s been peeling paint with his banjo in The Del McCoury Band for the past 27 years, it’s an accurate description.

Rob has consistently avoided the spotlight, waiting until 2014 to release his first solo project. 5 String Flamethrower has been two years in the making, with Rob retreating to the studio as his busy schedule with his dad, and with The Travelin McCourys allowed.

The material was selected from banjo tunes that have influenced McCoury’s playing, with a couple of vocal numbers as well. Tributes to Earl Scruggs, Don Reno, Sonny Osborne and J.D. Crowe are included, and Rob even managed to get Sonny to pick up the banjo again to contribute to the opening of one track. Papa Del and Bobby Osborne are also on hand to add vocals, and Rob sings one himself.

Most of these titles should be familiar to banjo players, and 5 string fans: Foggy Mountain Chimes, John Henry, Charlotte Breakdown, Banjo Riff, Feudin’ Banjos, Siempre, and Blackjack. They represent selections from the bluegrass banjo canon, and when this new CD drops on August 19, we can add Rob’s versions to the banjo library.

It was all recorded with the Del McCoury Band. Brother Ronnie is on mandolin (and tenor banjo for Fuedin’ Banjos), father Del is on guitar, with Alan Bartram on bass and Jason Carter on fiddle.

This should be a good’n.

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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.