Geez it's been a horrible year in several ways, including in the number of fantastic musicians we've lost, most recently Leon Russell, Leonard Cohen, and Mose Allison. One universe-class musician we still have with us is Del McCoury, and when we heard back in August that he'd be playing at the newly-refurbished Cabot Theater in Beverly on Saturday, November 19th with another incredible (and elderly) musician, David Grisman, we got tickets immediately! 4th row center, that is.
Dave was working downtown but showed up towards the end of the afternoon. We headed out for the North Shore in plenty of time, but I then realized I'd forgotten the tickets ... though I realized it before we'd even gotten to 128 it still took us 45 minutes or so to go back and get them. Whatever, we still were in time to grab a table at Gulu-Gulu in Salem and have a fine dinner and couple of beers.
Then headed up over the bridge to Beverly, found the Cabot (we'd never been there before), and found a parking space on a nearby suburban street. Grabbed another beer from their bar and had a little time to admire the handsome theater before the guys came out and lined up right in front of us, the great Del McCoury with his guitar to the right as we looked at them, and David Dawg Grisman on the left, of course with a beautiful mandolin. They then proceed to be as fantastic as you might expect.
They opened with Feast Here Tonight, did East Virginia Blues, Toy Heart, and just ripped off fantastic tune after fantastic tune. Hearing Del McCoury sing is literally incredible ... it's hard to believe that a person can do that. But to see him do it right in front of you forces you to believe.
Grisman was great on vocals and his touch on the mandolin is unique. There's a style named after him, for Dawg's sake. But as wonderful as he is, to see Del sing was the most magical aspect of the night. They did two relatively short sets, and as I say, pushed the bar higher and higher, They climaxed with Dark Hollow, which of course Del sang with the loneliness, bravado, and character you'd expect. His tempo and his precise ability to hit any note ever invented is spectacular.
Great Saturday night, and then Dave drove home. A car in front of us was cut off and almost turned over by another car swerving for an exit on 128. We stopped and they were ok; Sarah called 911 and the State Police were soon there, though the guy who did it had driven off.