New Retrospective Celebrates 50 Years Of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

September 6, 2017

The extraordinary career of iconic American outfit Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is encapsulated in the new retrospective two-disc set, Anthology, due for release on 29 September 2017 via Capitol Nashville/UMe.

The production of this comprehensive new 2CD and digital collection has been supervised by the band’s founding member Jeff Hanna. The new retrospective will be available as a 2CD set and also via digital platforms.

Beginning with ‘Buy For Me The Rain’, their first track from their 1967 self-titled Capitol records debut, and culminating with ‘The Resurrection’ from their most recent studio release, 2009’S Speed of Life, the all-encompassing collection is an extensive 39-track career overview, which includes illuminating liner notes from renowned journalist and author Holly Gleason. Hanna says, “We really wanted this collection to historically reflect our band's timeline, but in addition to that, felt like it was important to include deeper cuts ("Fish Song," "Cosmic Cowboy") and instrumentals ("Randy Lynn Rag," "Midnight at Woody Creek"), and fan favorites ("Ripplin' Waters," "Bayou Jubilee").

Long before Americana music had a name, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, helped lead the charge, mixing elements of country, bluegrass, folk, mountain music, and rock & roll into a sound that celebrated the full range of American music. Formed in Long Beach, California in 1966, the guys were traditionalists and trendsetters, performing songs that nodded to the past while still pushing toward the future.

From their ubiquitous 1970’s Top 10 hit of Jerry Jeff Walker’s Mr. Bojangles,” to “An American Dream” – featuring Troubadour pal Linda Ronstadt – and ‘Make a Little Magic’ with Nicolette Larson, to their #1 country songs, 1984’s ‘Long Hard Road (Sharecropper’s Dream),’ penned by Rodney Crowell and featuring Ricky Skaggs on fiddle and a young Jerry Douglas on dobro, Anthology collects all their best known songs in chronological order of release showcasing the band’s thrilling evolution and numerous highlights.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band are perhaps best known for their landmark album, Will The Circle Be Unbroken, and this groundbreaking achievement and its sequels are ably represented throughout Anthology with a dozen cuts from the three volumes. Released in 1972, Volume 1 saw the band pairing with bluegrass and country legends of the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s such as Roy Acuff, “Mother” Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Merle Travis, and Pete “Oswald” Kirby, for an inspired and influential 38-song double album that healed generational and cultural rifts by bringing the new and old guard together. Will The Circle Be Unbroken has been inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress as well as the GRAMMY®: Hall of Fame.

Twelve years after the original, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band revisited their unique experiment for Volume 2. With fellow folk-rock vets Chris Hillman and Roger McGuinn, they took on Bob Dylan’s You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere’, a song their guests had popularized in The Byrds. Produced by Randy Scruggs, some of the many collaborators this time included The Band’s Levon Helm, John Prine, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash and John Hiatt. The album won the Country Music Association’s Album of the Year Awards and three GRAMMY Awards. Again, merging moments, movements and cultures, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band captured a state of roots music long before it was called Americana. The third volume, released in 2002, brought Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Del McCoury and Taj Mahal into the fold and took home another GRAMMY.

For five decades, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has remained one of the most iconic names in American music. With one foot planted in the traditions of country-folk and the other pointing toward something new and unexpected, the group continues to tour and release music, influencing multiple generations of audiences and artists along the way. Anthology is both a perfect primer for those who want to explore the band’s remarkable career and a lovingly compiled collection for the band’s fans that span generations and genres, keeping the circle ever going.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Anthology is due for release on 29 September. Scroll down for the full tracklist and order the two-disc set here.

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ANTHOLOGY Tracklisting:

DISC 1
Buy For Me The Rain
Some Of Shelly's Blues
Uncle Charlie Interview
Bojangles
Randy Lynn Rag
House At Pooh Corner
Opus 36
Fish Song
Jambalaya (On The Bayou)
Grand Ole Opry Song (featuring Jimmy Martin)
You Are My Flower
Tennessee Stud (featuring Doc Watson)
I Saw The Light (featuring Roy Acuff)
Honky Tonkin'
Will The Circle Be Unbroken (featuring Mother Maybelle Carter)
Cosmic Cowboy (Part 1)
Battle Of New Orleans
Bayou Jubilee/Sally Was A Goodun
Ripplin' Waters
Mother Earth (Provides For Me)
Bowlegs

DISC 2
An American Dream (featuring Linda Ronstadt)
Make A Little Magic (featuring Nicolette Larson)
Shot Full Of Love
Dance Little Jean
Colorado Christmas (featuring Emmylou Harris)
Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper's Dream)
Fishin’ In The Dark
Workin' Man (Nowhere to Go)
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere (featuring Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman)
The Valley Road (featuring Bruce Hornsby)
When It's Gone
Waitin’ On A Dark Eyed Gal
Bless The Broken Road
Catfish John (featuring Alison Krauss)
The Lowlands (featuring Jaime Hanna and Jonathan McEuen)
Tears In The Holston River (featuring Johnny Cash)
Midnight At Woody Creek
The Resurrection (featuring Matraca Berg)

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2 comments

  1. K.P. Ward
    Reply

    This a wonderful collection from one of greatest bands of all time, and a fitting tribute to a 50 year heritage! But they are still together, aren’t they? And I’m dying to hear some new music from the guys!!

  2. Glenn Logan
    Reply

    I don’t envy Jeff trying to cull down an anthology of NGDB to just two discs. I would have had trouble getting my NGDB “must have’s” down to 10 discs ! Great to see their first release of Colorado Christmas, with Emmylou Harris, will be included. If you were not one of the lucky ones to have found it as a 45 rpm back in 80’s, this will be its first time that I’m aware of it being released on an album/CD. The re-recorded version with Alison is great, but the first recording with Emmylou is what is etched into my fading memory.

    Now if we could only get its flip side, “Bethlehem Holiday Inn”, released for this Christmas !
    Thanks, Jeff ! Long Live The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band !

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