Saturday Night LIVE at DelFest

Maybe it was just coincidental that there were a lot of songs about rain last night. While it hasn’t rained since Friday the after affects are still with us and anyone who saw any of the amazing performances up close last night did so in ankle deep mud. Today’s forecast of 90 degrees will hopefully begin the drying out process so that we can enjoy another full day of music here at DelFest.

The Del McCoury band took the stage at 8:00 last night and I think they started off with I’ll Never Love Anybody But You and the hits just kept coming. They played one of my personal favorites, Richard Thompson’s 1952 Vincent Black Lightning which Del recorded in ’01 on Del and the Boys. That was a treat!

Del and company were then joined on stage by Bluegrass Hall of Famer Jesse McReynolds and they launched into Dixie Hoedown.

Everywhere you turn there are McCourys here, which is logical, but I guess it surprised me a little to see not only how involved but also how gracious and hospitable the family is. There is a real sense of pride about this event that is infused into every aspect of the weekend.

We should refer to last night as “special guest night.” Del called out on stage a friend, thirteen year old fiddle prodigy Hanna Livingston, who tore into Orange Blossom Special. “Whew!” laughed Del. “I can barely keep up!” Not true, of course, Del both looks and sounds amazing.

The headline act, Warren Haynes, is certainly not a bluegrass artist, but worthy of note because of his incredible talent. He, too, had a steady stream of special guests last night, including bassist Ron Johnson, saxophonist Ron Holloway, Tim Carbone, Jon Skehan and Andew Altman from Railroad Earth, Bill Nershi, Drew Emmitt and then, ultimately, the entire McCoury clan was on stage.  “Hey!” laughed Del, “I’m not sure there’s any room for me!” There’s always room for Del McCoury.

The late night performances (that didn’t start until after midnight for you early-to-bed-folks) featured Psychograss and then more McCourys.  I don’t think that there is anyone left here who hasn’t played with everyone else. Incredibly fun stuff.

A side note. This our first time here at DelFest and I hope we can make it an annual tradition. It’s a super fun, family friendly, well organized and well outfitted event. If you haven’t been, I’d recommend it. With two stages, there is a constant line up of music, and then there are workshops and other side events like yoga and learn-to-hula-hoop lessons!

Even though it is Sunday and you’d think we were winding down here, we have a full line up including The Punch Brothers and Yonder Mountain String Band.

More updates later!

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About the Author

Diane Farineau

Diane Farineau, her husband, photographer, Milo and their friend, photographer, Chester Simpson, hatched a brilliant plan last year to write a book about music festivals. Somewhere along the way The Festival Project, as it has now become, turned into a website and a blog and an amazing journey into the world of today's bluegrass and Americana artists and festival scene. When not listening to or writing about music, Diane has a day job as a hospital administrator, is a mom of two musical teenagers, and writes about life's never ending stream of ironies.