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Published: 2003/08/28
by Chris Gardner

It’s Just The Night – Del McCoury Band


It is almost disingenuous to call the new Del McCoury Band album new. I
mean, sure, it's full of fresh, recently recorded material that has never
been publicly released, so it's new if you want to get technical about it.
But you don't seek out the Del McCoury Band because you're looking for
something new. At times, the Del Band is as much a Bluegrass Preservation
Society as it is a band. The strength of the music lies in its adherence to
tradition rather than it willingness to push boundaries, and _It's Just
the Night_, like the band's last few albums, doesn't draw outside the
lines. You'll find Del's inimitable high tenor, exquisite musicianship, and
arguably the world's finest multi-part bluegrass harmonies. You get the
slow and moody title cut, the obligatory knock-you-on-your-ass instrumental
from son Ronnie, gospel numbers that chill you, a mine song or two, and a
network of road songs.

The only surprising part of the album is the swirled backgrounds of the
album cover. Adjectives like "steady" and "predictable" don't jump off the
screen and chase you out to door to snatch up It’s Just the Night,
but they are exactly what you look for from this well-tailored quintet.
Thankfully, Del and the boys just stick to doing what they do better than
anyone else, and it rings true. It rings with authenticity not because they
conjure the ghost of Bill Monroe or because they revive the lost spirit of
seminal bluegrass, but because for the Del Band, that spirit never waned.

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