Today’s Compass – Beyond

Worth driving out of town
What: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Where: Barre Opera House, 6 N. Main St. in Barre, VT
When: Wednesday, March 24 at 7:30 PM
Tickets: $28 – $32
More: or call 802-476-8188
Distance: 75 Miles
Jackson Browne and Steve Martin are among the musicians who interned with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, which formed in Southern California during the spring of 1966 as a jug band when surf music was all the rage.  The present day lineup includes original members Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden and John McEuen, along with Bob Carpenter, who joined in 1977. They were the first band to have a hit with Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles,” and they made a memorable cover of Rodney Crowell’s “Voila, An American Dream.”
Over the years, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has helped define what’s now known as Americana. Their signature achievement was Will the Circle Be Unbroken, a three-album project in 1972 that helped expose a younger generation to Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Roy Acuff, Maybelle Carter and other country legends in a time of musical apartheid.  In the late 80s, the band made Will the Circle Be Unbroken II. Among other things, it reunited former Byrds Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman for Bob Dylan’s “You Ain’t Going Nowhere.”

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