Nitty Gritty Dirt Band- The Hits, The History & Dirt Does Dylan
Friday, October 20, 2023
Doors: 6:30 am / Show: 7:30 pm
The Neptune Theatre
Tickets start at $39.50 | $5.50 Increase DOS
Nitty Gritty DIrt Band
Many veteran bands trade on nostalgia, on replication of past glories, and on recycled emo-tions from younger, more carefree days.
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band trades on a mix of reimagined classics and compelling newer works. The group formed in 1966 as a Long Beach, California jug band, scored its ﬁrst charting single in 1967, and embarked on a self-propelled ride through folk, country, rock ‘n’ roll, pop, blue-grass, and the amalgam now known as “Americana.” The ﬁrst major hit came in 1971 with the epic “Mr. Bojangles,” which, along with insistent support from banjo master Earl Scruggs, opened doors in Nashville. Behind those doors were Earl Scruggs, Roy Acuﬀ, Doc Watson, Mother Maybelle Carter, Jimmy Martin, and others who would collaborate on a multi-artist, multi-generational, three-disc 1972 masterpiece: Will the Circle Be Unbroken went triple Plat-inum, spawned two later volumes, and wound up in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Was this a cutting-edge combo or a group of revivalists? Was the goal rebellion or musical piety? Yes, to all these things. In the 1980s, the Dirt Band reeled oﬀ 15 straight Top 10 country hits, including chart-toppers “Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper’s Dream),” “Modern Day Romance,” and “Fishin’ in the Dark (co-written by Jim Photoglo, who would join the band in the second decade of the new century). 1989 brought a second Circle album, this one featuring singer-songwriter talents including John Prine, Rosanne Cash, and John Hiatt and garnering two Grammy awards for the band (it later won another, for a collaboration with Earl Scruggs and other ﬁne folks). Circle II also won the Country Music Association’s Album of the Year prize. Circle III was released in 2003, featuring collaborations with Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, and more.
Throughout the group’s lifetime, personnel has changed, with each change resulting in positive steps forward, new ways of playing the old songs, and renewed enthusiasm for writing and recording fresh material. The latest Dirt Band lineup is expanded to six members for the ﬁrst time since 1968. Today’s group consists of founding member Jeﬀ Hanna, harp master Jimmie Fadden (who joined in 1966), and soulful-voiced Bob Carpenter, who has more than 40 years of service in the ensemble. Those veterans are now joined by singer-songwriter-bass man Jim Photoglo, ﬁddle and mandolin wizard Ross Holmes, and Hanna’s son, the preternaturally tal-ented singer and guitarist Jaime Hanna.
Blood harmony, thrilling instrumental ﬂights, undeniable stage chemistry … these things are part of each Dirt Band show, just as they are part of Dirt Does Dylan, the ﬁrst recording from the reconﬁgured, six-strong group. Produced by Ray Kennedy and Jeﬀ Hanna, it’s a remark-able ride through some of the most impactful songs of the past century, penned by Bob Dylan and taken for a blue highway spin by a great American band, with help from genius-level con-temporary artists like Jason Isbell and The War and Treaty.
A Dirt Band show is unlike any other. For legions of fans, it’s less about the memories than the moment, crisp as an Autumn apple and rich as a royal ﬂush.
Ages: All Ages
Seating: Reserved Floor & Balcony Seating & 50 Standing Room Only