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Fresh Tracks: Woody Platt and Del McCoury Try to Fix a “Broke Down Engine”

Last year Woody Platt surprised the bluegrass world when he announced he was leaving Steep Canyon Rangers, the Grammy-winning band he co-founded two-plus decades ago in North Carolina.

But the Brevard-based Platt, known for having one of the best voices in the genre, isn’t done making music. In fact, he has a new solo album coming out next year on Compass Records, and although the project doesn’t have a release date quite yet, a new single gives us a taste of what’s to come.

“Broke Down Engine,” a grassed-up take on an old Blind Willie McTell tune, features Platt trading lines with none other than Del McCoury, the bluegrass pioneer also known for his soaring vocals. Flanked by fleet-fingered runs from Bryan Sutton on guitar and Daren Shumaker on mando, Platt and McCoury sing about the timeless theme of feeling beaten down by a broken heart.

“What an honor to record ‘Broke Down Engine’ with a legend like Del McCoury,” Platt said in a statement relayed via Compass. “This ride has literally taken me from the ground floor to dream come true.” 

Platt, who’s also an ace fly angler, isn’t gigging as much as he used to. But he will play a duo show with his wife Shannon Whitworth on Feb. 1 at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts in Asheville. 

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