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Heartbreak Town

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Album Review

An impressive debut by any standard, mandolinist Ronnie McCoury, on his first effort away from the Del McCoury Band, shows himself more than capable of stepping out of the shadow of his father. Though Del McCoury and brother Rob McCoury, as well as Mike Bub and Jason Carter, provide the musical backing on the majority of the tracks, this is a Ronnie McCoury-led project, as he shows an expert eye in song selection, as well as writing nine of the thirteen tracks. Displaying a rather strong Bill Monroe bend to his songwriting, on tracks like "Our Love Never Dies" and "Sometimes Sleep Closes These Eyes," many within the bluegrass genre are already seeing McCoury as one of the future pillars of the traditional form. Hot instrumentals, such as "Dawggone," on which Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas and David Grisman give musical support, and "Noppet Hill Breakdown," again backed by his Del McCoury Band partners, give ample evidence as to why McCoury has received seven International Bluegrass Music Association's Mandolin Player Of The Year awards. An impressively varied and accomplished set, Heartbreak Town never disappoints.


Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Lending his virtuosic mandolin to a hefty number of recordings, Ronnie McCoury made his biggest splash when he joined his father Del's band as both a singer and instrumentalist, also cutting a duo album with his brother Rob for Rounder in 1995. Buoyed by the national exposure gained through the Del McCoury Band's collaboration with renegade country-rocker Steve Earle on 1998's The Mountain, and its ensuing tour, Ronnie recorded his first true solo album,...
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Heartbreak Town, Ronnie McCoury
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