The Travelin’ McCourys

Grammy Award Winning BluegrassBuy TicketsEnhance your Kate experience with Membership!

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From a source deep, abundant, and pure the river flows. It’s there on the map, marking place and time. Yet, the river changes as it remains a constant, carving away at the edges, making new pathways, gaining strength as it progresses forward. The Travelin’ McCourys are that river.

The McCoury brothers- Ronnie (mandolin) and Rob (banjo) - were born into the bluegrass tradition. Talk about a source abundant and pure: their father, Del, is among the most influential and successful musicians in the history of the genre. Years on the road with Dad in the Del McCoury Band honed their knife-edge chops, and encouraged the duo to imagine how traditional bluegrass could cut innovative pathways into 21st century music.

“If you put your mind, your skills, and your ability to it, I think you can make just about anything work on bluegrass instruments,” says Ronnie. “That’s a really fun part of this- figuring the new stuff out and surprising the audience.”

With fiddler Jason Carter, bassist Alan Bartram, and latest recruit Cody Kilby on guitar, they assembled a group that could take what they had in their DNA, take what traditions they learned and heard, and push the music forward. In fact, the band became the only group to have each of its members recognized with an International Bluegrass Music Association Award for their instrument at least once. There were peers, too, that could see bluegrass as both historic and progressive. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Allman Brothers Band, improv-rock kings Phish, and jamband contemporary Keller Williams were just a few that formed a mutual admiration society with the ensemble.

The band played the Allman’s Wanee Festival, and guitarist Warren Haynes’ Christmas jam- an annual holiday homecoming of Southern music. An early-years jam with the Lee Boys was hailed by many as the highlight of the evening, and with the video catching fire online, earned a legion of new, young fans of their supercharged combination of sacred steel, R&B, and bluegrass. There were unforgettable collaborations with country smash Dierks Bentley, and onstage magic, jamming with titans String Cheese Incident and Phish, cutting an album with Keller (Pick), and creating the Grateful Ball- a tribute concert-turned-tour bridging bluegrass with the iconic music of the Grateful Dead.

“That’s something that’s part of us being who we are,” says Ronnie. “It comes, too, with us plugging in. It gets louder, for sure. We can’t be another version of our dad’s band. It wouldn’t make any sense for us to do that.”

Their concerts became can’t-miss events, whether headlining historic venues or as festival favorites, drawing the love and respect of a growing fanbase craving their eclectic repertoire. At the 2016 edition of DelFest, an annual gathering of the genre’s best aptly named for the McCoury patriarch, the band delivered the take-away highlight. Rolling Stone called it “a sublime combination of rock and bluegrass, contemporary and classic, old and young. The best set of the festival…” The river was going new places, getting stronger. It was time to re-draw the map.

“We’ve tried to pick songs we think people are going to enjoy,” says Ronnie. “Something we learned from our dad is that a good  song is a good song. It can be done in any way.”

So arrives the long-awaited, self-titled debut album from the quintet. A brilliantly executed set overflowing with inventive style, stellar musicianship, and, of course, plenty of burnin’ grass, the 14-song collection is a true culmination of their decades-long journey. From the headwaters of Bill Monroe and the waves of Jerry Garcia to a sound both rooted and revolutionary, soulful and transcending that belongs only to the Travelin’ McCourys.

“The album definitely shows what we’ve evolved into as a band. And, it’s a pretty good representation of what’s happening with the whole genre,” says Rob. “The old bluegrass material is something I love but it’s been done many times. We’re forging ahead with our own sound. That’s what you have to do to make it all work.”

Parking

The Kate parking map - accessible parking is available on Main Street and in the parking lot behind the Kate

Parking at the Kate is free and easy! There is not one dedicated parking lot; however, there is ample parking surrounding the venue.

Parking on the street is limited and shared by all Main Street merchants. We ask that you consider one of the suggested off-street parking locations in blue where Kate patrons have permission to park.

Shows start promptly at the time posted to our website and printed on your tickets. Planning to arrive 15 minutes prior to the show is always a great idea—plus, it give you a few minutes to explore the Katharine Hepburn Museum!

Directions

The Kate is located at 300 Main Street in downtown Old Saybrook, a short distance from the I-95 corridor as well as the Route 9/I-95 interchange. Get Driving Directions

Concessions/Bar

The Kate’s Concessions/Bar area is open for most shows, offering bottled water, soda, juice, and a selection of movie theater candy. For those 21 and over, a selection of beer, wine, prosecco, and simple mixed cocktails are available.

Cash or credit cards are accepted and beverages purchased at the Kate may be taken into the theater.

Concessions/bar may not be available for all performances and selections may vary. For more information, contact the Box Office at (860) 510-0453.

Nearby Dining Options

Consider one of the many great nearby restaurants for a bite to eat before or after the show. To explore options, check out our Dining page.

The Kate theater is located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Cultural Arts Center. The orchestra level is accessible by elevator from the 1st floor lobby; the balcony is accessible only via stairs. Accessible seating locations may vary slightly by event and are clearly identified on the interactive seating chart for each performance. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Box Office at (860) 510-0453. For additional information, please reference our Box Office & Theater Policies.

Seating chart

Become a Member

Whether you are drawn to the Kate for a love of the performing arts or of Katharine Hepburn, we hope that each Kate experience is a great one. As a patron, you help to keep the arts alive in our community.

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The Kate is generously sponsored by:

  • Pasta Vita
  • Saybrook Point Resort & Marina
  • Sennheiser