Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Will the Circle Be Unbroken Vol III

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has existed in one form or another since 1966, when they formed this
bluegrass/Americana amalgamation and rose to fame with their hit version of "Mr. Bojangles". In 1972, they recorded the first volume of this series, mixing traditional bluegrass and Nashville country artists with West Coast hippies - something that was not very popular in the Vietnam era. But, they proved their love for traditional music and brought in such stalwarts as the legendary Mother Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff, Merle Travis, Earl Scruggs and many more. This third volume was done in 2002 and includes some of the same people - Scruggs, Doc Watson, Jimmy Martin, Vassar Clements as well as larger-than-life characters like Johnny Cash and his wife June (daughter of Maybelle, whose legacy started this series), Willie Nelson, Taj Mahal, Tom Petty and many more.

The music is as advertised - early country, in the vein of the Carter Family, and bluegrass, all performed by quality musicians with care and passion and a respect for tradition. This is a very cool project and I will certainly be researching the earlier volumes. Nicely done!