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March 14, 2013
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Sam Bush joined by fellow bluegrass legend Del McCoury at the Avalon

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Mandolin virtuoso Sam Bush, also known as the "King of Telluride," because he performs each year at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and fellow legendary bluegrass musician Del McCoury will perform in Grand Junction at the Avalon Theatre March 23.It's the first time the two Nashville-based musicians have gone on the road together."We've known each other since the late '60s," McCoury said. "We've jammed together, but we never actually toured together."A month ago Bush and McCoury performed in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since then, they've toured New England. Colorado is the last leg of the tour before they head home to Nashville.Bush asked McCoury to sing the song "Roll on Buddy, Roll on" on his new CD "Circles Around Me" on Sugarhill Records, McCoury said. That's what prompted the tour, he said.With McCoury on guitar, and Bush playing any of his three mandolins, the two will sing a number of duets, along with an instrumental piece or two. Bush will also break out his fiddle, and McCoury his banjo, on at least one song, McCoury said during a phone interview Tuesday."We had to learn new material," McCoury said. "There are brand new songs. Some I knew, some he knows. We wrote one together."Both Bush and McCoury will continue touring with their own (the Sam Bush Band and the Del McCoury Band) bands after they complete the Colorado tour."I never did mind the road, still don't," said McCoury, 74, who's been performing for more than 50 years. "It's a different routine than home, but I still like it. And, I can keep up with them young guys, believe it or not.""Both of us (he and Bush) will have our own bands at Telluride Bluegrass Festival. We'll probably do something just the two of us, too, while we're there."McCoury has won a Grammy and been nominated for numerous other Grammys. He's won nine International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year Awards. His newest CD, "Old Memories: The Songs of Bill Monroe," includes songs from the 1960s, when McCoury used to work with the late bluegrass legend. Bush is a Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist who is currently nominated for IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year. His band is nominated for Instrumental Group of the Year. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist from the Americana Music Association in 2009. Concert-goers can expect the two to swap stories about the bluegrass "pioneers" who came before them."We were around when they were still all alive - Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. We could tell stories on these old guys and they'd never know," McCoury said."They're the ones who established this bluegrass sound."Though both Bush and McCoury grew up playing traditional bluegrass, both have also expanded into Americana-type music over the years. The local Stray Grass band will open the show.

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The Post Independent Updated Mar 14, 2013 01:36PM Published Mar 14, 2013 01:34PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.