Instead of taking up golf, gardening, baking, during his COVID downtime, longtime Bluegrass artist Del McCoury combing through hours of music from his younger days searching for songs to work on. What he ended up gravitating toward was an album’s worth of “blue-collar, workingman’s songs” which aligns with McCoury’s view of himself “as a working man who chose music as his vocation all those years ago”.

Backed by his Del McCoury Band, which includes his sons Ronnie (mandolin) and Rob (banjo), as well as long time band members Alan Bartram (bass) and Jason Carter (fiddle), as well as a multitude of guests, McCoury took the songs into the studio. The resulting album Almost Proud recently arrived from McCoury Music.

Almost Proud is packed with songs from a wide variety of writers, both well known and obscure, and includes a few performances from old friends. McCoury tapped into his long friendship with Vince Gill to find the right high country vocal for “Honky Tonk Nights” and chose a little-known song from a recent Kris Kristofferson album called “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” to tell a story of married couples who’ve become perfect strangers.

This collection of songs kept 83-year-old McCoury engaged during the pandemic and it’s part of a body of work that ended up being nearly 30 songs, so it’s likely to see a volume 2 in the very near future.

Catch Del McCoury Band On Tour:

Mar. 5 – Pelham, TN – The Caverns

Mar. 13 – Immokalee, FL – Southland Bluegrass & Wilderness Festival

Mar. 18-19 – Columbus, OH – Duck Creek in the City 2022

Mar. 25 – Newberry, SC – Newberry Opera House

Mar. 26 – Brooksville, FL – Spring Bluegrass Festival 2022

May 26-29 – Cumberland, MD – DelFest 2022

June 23 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium