The Del McCoury Band, “Moneyland”

One of the year’s best singles comes from bluegrass stalwarts The Del McCoury Band.   The lyrics fly so fast that you can almost miss the scathing indictment of a culture driven by greed, coupled with outrage on behalf of those being exploited by it.

“It’s a pity to see when the land of the free turns out to be nothin’ but a free for all”, McCoury seethes, “If you got big dough you’re freer than most cause your freedom goes up with the size of your bankroll.”  There was a time when country music was the natural home for such working class sentiments, but anything like this today is destined to be embraced way outside of the mainstream.

This killer track serves as the title cut for the essential new compilation Moneyland, which is anchored by several Del McCoury band cuts, but also includes songs with the same theme by Patty Loveless, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Dan Tyminski and more.

Written by John Harrell

Grade: A+

Listen: Moneyland

Buy: Moneyland


  1. I love this. The subject’s been on my mind a lot as of late so I’m glad to hear this viewpoint affirmed once again in the music I love. It really saddens me to see mainstream country become so glitzy, fame-obsessed and (frequently) shallow; it’s becoming hard to find music with this sort of edge outside of the folk and indie-rock circles (which usually are not as aurally pleasing to me as country is).

  2. And I forgot to mention that while I love the Del McCoury treatment here, the song has a very flexible structure to it; I’d be really interested to hear what it would sound like with a more full-bodied production – possibly rock-influenced with some sweet harmonies or something.

  3. Please give credit to the correct song-writer…John herald wrote and recorded “Moneyland” in Woodstock before his death…THose of us thrilled he has this song on record by another artist want to see the name spelled right. Look up John Herald…one of the original Greenbriar boys!his recordings of Old Stewball.andbhis his original songwriting went unnoticed for years, but you’ll find him right up there in the bluegrass/folk genre.You think that one’s great? He had many that rocked the house ,kept us dancing, and made us think. Try MAria Muldaur’s cover of John the Generator…or perhaps …JH was a purist and is missed sorely by old friends.
    HIs song writing and musicianship needs correct spelling!

  4. I just listened to the album this week and i love it! The title track is definitely my favorite :) The website has samples of the entire album and free download.

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