Del McCoury Band and Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Born from the 2010 release, Preservation: An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall & The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program, which paired the legendary New Orleans mainstays Preservation Hall Jazz Band with such folks as Tom Waits, Pete Seeger, Andrew Bird, and Del McCoury, American Legacies seems at first glance to be an odd pairing. Del McCoury is a veteran bluegrasser, getting his start with Bill Monroe in 1963, and now leading one of the genre’s most respected groups. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band needs no introduction. For nearly 50 years, the group has kept the spirit of New Orleans Dixieland Jazz alive, and now under the leadership of Ben Jaffe, the group has expanded its sound (and fanbase) while never losing that traditional, swinging New Orleans feel.
American Legacies is for the most part a Preservation Hall Jazz Band album with some country topping. Del McCoury can sing the blues like nobody’s business, and on numbers such as “One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)” or a bouncy take on the standard “I’ll Fly Away” he shines. The mandolin picking of Ronnie McCoury on moments such as “Mullensburg Joys” is a joy to hear, and sounds completely at home betwixt the trumpets and tuba of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Sure, the merging of Dixieland and bluegrass might sound odd at first… but isn’t that what they said about chocolate and peanut butter at one time? Dig in!