A feast of bluegrass and newgrass is served

|
Entertainment,Music,Nancy Dunham

Two bluegrass legends will take the stage together in D.C. this weekend for a show that isn't often seen outside of Nashville, Tenn.

In a way, the show by Del McCoury, one of the true gentlemen and elder statesmen of the format, and Sam Bush, often called the King of Newgrass, is a pre-Thanksgiving feast for fans. The two longtime friends and virtuosos, who each have been honored with a host of awards and cited as idols by such legendary artists as Alison Krauss, are playing smaller venues than usual to better connect with fans.

"I just always like being on the road. I know some guys don't or they get disheartened, but that never happened to me," said McCoury, whose high-profile appearances include many performances at the annual Memorial Day DelFest that he hosts in Cumberland, Md. "I still find it a lot of fun to go out and play. I could play all day and all the next day and the next. I never lose that excitement about playing."

The same love of playing is true for Bush, as fans of "Nashville" could see on a recent episode of the ABC television show when he exuberantly played fiddle for Charles Esten's character Deacon Claybourne.

Onstage
Sam Bush and Del McCoury
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
Info: $39.50; 202-397-SEAT (7328); ticketmaster.com

"I didn't get into music to win awards," said Bush, a featured player at the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado. "I'm just now starting to get somewhere. I love to play, and the older I get the more I love it. And I love new things."

One new thing for the two friends, whose friendship goes back decades, is to play the more intimate venues. Although both are generous with fans, taking requests even when they play festivals, they look forward to a chance to speak more personally to friends.

"Sam and I have played together a lot through the years, and we also enjoy it. It's just something that we don't get to do very often because of our schedules" said McCoury. "So this is a great chance for us to go out together, play some songs that we like and get to meet our fans in some smaller venues than we usually play."

View article comments Leave a comment