Travelin’ McCourys, David Grisman warm snowy Tahoe night

Tahoe Onstage

David Grisman and Ronnie McCoury pick the Crystal Bay Casino to play on a snowy Saturday night. The Travelin’ McCourys received a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album on Dec. 7.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Clare Foster

On a cold and snowy Saturday night, the Travelin’ McCourys and special guest David Grisman ravelin’ McCourys packed the Crown Room at the Crystal Bay Casino. With local folks aplenty along with out-of-towners, the crowd loved every chord played, every song sung, and left wanting more.

About 45 minutes into the McCourys’ one-set show — which went for almost two and a half hours — David Grisman joined in the fun. The chemistry between the band and Grisman was something special, and the way that Grisman and Ronnie McCoury’s mandolins sang together, becoming one, was one for the books. This being the last show of their tour made it even more memorable.

I have seen and photographed the Travelin McCourys several times and they are talented, kind and wonderful.  As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo live and breathe their father’s love and dedication to Bluegrass music, bringing happiness to all who listen to them.

The Bluegrass community and beyond both respect and adore this Nashville band and the guests who grace the stage with them. They have many years on the road, and keep getting better. The McCoury brothers are backed by Jason Carter on fiddle/vocals, Alan Bartram on bass/vocals and Cody Kilby on guitar.

When they broke into “Friend of the Devil,” the crowd was singing with them. It was a happy, music-filled lovefest.

Grisman’s humor never fails and he had us all chuckling on more than one occasion. At one point, he chided Ronnie McCoury: “I play this song better than you do.” Everyone laughed.

Grisman made several references to Jerry Garcia (his bandmate in Old & In the Way) and to his merch available, and even played a song for his wife. Hearts were full at the end of the show, well after the final bows were taken.

— Clare Foster

Related story: Monroe Grisman and friends celebrate Tom Petty’s music with Petty Theft.

Clare Foster / Tahoe Onstage

Photos below are by Larry Sabo for Tahoe Onstage

About Clare Foster

Clare Foster finds some sort of balance in the place she has called home for 27 years, the North and West shores of Lake Tahoe. If she isn't out listening to and photographing live music, she is either down by the lake or wandering in the woods taking photos or, working on a new book. Check out Clare's website.

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