Singer/mandolinist Del McCoury's career had the most auspicious beginning a bluegrass musician can hope for; in the mid-1960s he was a member of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys. He kicked off his solo career a couple of years later, and by the '70s he had found a middle ground between bluegrass traditionalism and the open-minded "newgrass" approach, becoming a highly influential artist in the process. In the '80s, McCoury truly codified his style, forming a tight band that included his sons Ronnie and Rob. THE MOUNTAIN, their 1999 collaboration with Steve Earle, raised the band's profile even further, endearing them to non-country audiences and neatly dovetailing with the early-2000s O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?-inspired bluegrass resurgence.
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