Home Bio Events Media Contact News Blog Links Delaney Brothers Born into a musical family in Newark, NJ, Ray Delaney started playing guitar at age 14.  After relocating to Central New York in 1960, Ray and his brother John began singing as a duo, performing mostly pop and contemporary folk songs.    Then in 1981, while scanning  the FM radio dial in his van one Sunday night, Ray happened to tune into Bill Knowlton’s “Bluegrass Ramble” radio show on WCNY in Syracuse.  As he told it, “I was hooked right from the word go!”  Soon after that, the Delaney Brothers duo decided that this music was just too good to leave alone.   They saw the need for a fresh, central New York band that could promote “the new traditionalism” of bluegrass music through professional appearance and tight vocal harmonies, featured with new and different instrumental arrangements.  The brothers enlisted the musical services of Patrick Parsnow on banjo and James A. Treat on upright bass, and Delaney Brothers Bluegrass was born.  Since its inception, this regional band has seen a lot of success on the bluegrass circuit,  not the least of which was being invited to showcase on the main stage at the 2001 IBMA convention in Louisville, KY.  They have shared the stage with great acts such as Dr. Ralph Stanley, The Seldom Scene, Allison Krauss, The Del McCoury Band, and Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, as well as the “Father of Bluegrass” himself, Bill Monroe.  More recently they opened for Cherryholmes when they performed in a joint concert with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra.    John and Ray have welcomed and nurtured many fine musicians throughout the years, but probably the most rewarding addition to the band was John’s son Jonathan, who decided to learn the bass when the band found themselves in another transition without a bass player in 2006. Not only did he deliver the goods in true Delaney fashion, but audiences were in for a real treat as Jonathan’s  high tenor leads and harmonies began to be showcased.  Of all the changes the band has seen, none was more difficult than the loss of Brother Ray in April of 2014.  As the patriarch and “front man” for the band, he will be sorely missed. Nothing was more poignant though, than when Scott Corbett (who previously played banjo with the band and was Ray’s dear friend) returned to the group, playing not only banjo, but primarily guitar.    The group has come full circle from that night when Ray heard bluegrass for the first time on “The Bluegrass Ramble” radio show; not only have they appeared several times on the Ramble’s live “barn dance” anniversary show, but they have for many years now been the host band for Bill Knowlton’s Bluegrass Ramble picnic - a free day of entertainment for the whole family, held the first Sunday in August each year at Dwyer Memorial Park in Little York, NY.    After 33 years, the Delaneys are still going strong, sharing the gift of music that they have been given with their loyal fans, and those they have yet to meet.
“Music I heard with you was more than music.” - Conrad Aiken