Read the Nitty Gritty details of life in The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

The Life I've Picked: John McEuen

The Life I’ve Picked: A Banjo Player’s Nitty Gritty Journey recently came across my desk and from the moment I picked it up, I couldn’t put it back down. The raw honestly and humor John McEuen recounts his experiences with make his story read more like a friend regaling tales from a party last weekend rather than the boring punchlist of timelined events so many biographies can slip into. But don’t take my word for it… here’s an excerpt straight from the book: It’s hard to stay depressed in the Apple. I could pick up my mood just by walking the streets. The years on York and 88th were great in many ways, although I was further away from the rest of my family than ever before. That made it difficult emotionally, but made it extra exciting when anyone visited. Marilyn always made it great when they came to see us. I knew some things could happen in my life and career just by being conveniently based in The City. Right off, I got a call to sing and play with fifty goats, a cow, and twenty kids for a Sesame Street music video of “Oh, Susanna!” The shoot, on a Long Island farm, was incredibly cool. It was my first video where I had to lip-synch the singing, which was exciting. We recorded the song at about eight in the morning, shot that afternoon, and we were done! Next. Soon after, I guested on All Night with Joey Reynolds, his famous late-night talk show on WOR-FM. That led to about twenty more times over the ensuing five years, bringing along Matt Cartsonis, David Amram, Martha Redbone, and Jon Mark Fletcher—all great musicians with whom I’ve worked regularly in the new century—and whomever else I could entice to go to lower Manhattan after midnight. I was exploring new music and people for hopeful use in the near future. It was like rehearsing on the radio. During one show I even interviewed the great Les Paul, who was a pioneer both musically and technologically. Immortalized by Gibson’s iconic Les Paul guitar, I asked which invention was his favorite. He said, “They’re like children. I love them all!” I had seen him play and shook his hand at the famed Iridium on Broadway two years earlier, when he was only ninety-two.   The intimate and often funny first-hand telling of a Nitty Gritty tale. John McEuen give readers his perspective of a life in music as a member of the legendary Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, a solo artist, studio musician, and radio personality, and it’s a must-read any aspiring musician.  

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band releases greatest hits album

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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to release Fishin’ in the Dark on Feb. 24, a greatest hits album featuring five decades of American music. 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. Tomorrow, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will release a 21-track greatest hits album titled Fishin’ in the Dark (Rhino Records). The collection includes the band’s biggest hits on both country and pop radio (“Mr. Bojangles,” “Dance Little Jean,” “Fishin’ in the Dark,” and more), along with many fan-favorites (“Cadillac Ranch” and “Ripplin’ Waters”).   In September 2015, the band celebrated 50 years of music with a sold-out show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. NGDB was joined onstage by John Prine, Sam Bush, Vince Gill, Jerry Jeff Walker, Alison Krauss, Rodney Crowell, Byron House, Jerry Douglas, Jackson Browne, and longtime Dirt Band member Jimmy Ibbotson. In 2016, the band released a live recording (cd/dvd combo) of this night titled Circlin’ Back: Celebrating 50 Years. The Ryman show, which was also recorded for PBS won a Midsouth Regional EMMY® for Special Event Coverage at the 31st annual award ceremony in Nashville in January 2017.   Fishin’ in the Dark is available at and Amazon. A note from the band on the back cover of the CD reads, “This collection represents some of our proudest musical moments over the past 5 decades… Hope you’ve enjoyed the ride nearly as much as we have… And to our fans… You “Dirt Heads” out there… Thanks for making it all possible!!”   About Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: 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. The guys were traditionalists and trendsetters, performing songs that nodded to the past while still pushing toward the future. Released in 1972 – just six years after the group formed in Southern California – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken still stands as one of the most beloved albums in the country catalog, pairing the young band with legends like Roy Acuff, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, and Mother Maybelle Carter.   Many decades have passed since that milestone album’s release, with the members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band now enjoying their own legendary status. They continue to blur lines between genres, however, and Circlin’ Back accomplishes something very similar to the classic Will the Circle Be Unbroken, pairing the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with the hit-makers, rule-breakers, and iconic figures of today’s roots music community. This time, Hanna, Fadden, Carpenter, and McEuen are the elder statesmen, passing down their influence and inspiration to a younger class without giving up the torch just yet. There’s more music to be made, after all. More shows to play. Another half-century to chase down. The Continue reading Nitty Gritty Dirt Band releases greatest hits album


NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND JOINS WEBSTER PUBLIC RELATIONS ROSTER 2016 Marks 50 Years for Grammy, CMA Award-Winning Group The iconic and profoundly influential Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, often cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in country, rock and American roots music, joins Webster Public Relations for publicity representation as the band marks its 50th birthday of nonstop touring and recording vital music. “It’s an honor to work with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and celebrate their milestone anniversary o f five spectacular decades,” said Kirt Webster, President/CEO. “They’re one of very few musical acts to achieve such longevity and this level of success – a testament to their talent and authenticity.” Formed in California in 1966, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band consists of founding members Jeff Hanna (guitars/vocals), Jimmie Fadden (drums/harmonica/vocals), John McEuen (banjo/fiddle/guitar/mandolin), and Bob Carpenter (keyboards/accordion/vocals), “The New Guy” since 1977. The group has lasted longer than virtually any other country-based group of their era with multi-platinum and gold records, including legendary hits “Mr. Bojangles” and “Fishin’ in the Dark” (certified platinum for digital downloads in 2014 and the longest recurrent country radio song of all time). Their groundbreaking 1972 Will The Circle Be Unbroke n album, which assembled the living legends of country, bluegrass and mountain music to record what many critics have hailed as “an American treasure,” has been inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress and the Grammy Hall of Fame, paving the way for generations of what’s now known as today’s “cross genre movement.” “Mr. Bojangles” was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010. Most recently the Nitty Gritty Dirty Band was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, class of 2015. As part of their 50th anniversary, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band hosted a star-studded PBS televised special to air in March that was filmed at the historic Ryman Auditorium during a sold-out performance, which was also the unofficial kick off to the 2015 Americana Awards and Music Festival. The special also stars fellow guest artists, including John Prine, Sam Bush, Vince Gill, Jerr y Jeff Walker, Alison Krauss, Rodney Crowell and Jerry Douglas as well as former members, Jimmy Ibbotson (a founder and member for decades) and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and original member Jackson Browne. The special is made possible with support from the Tennessee Department of Tourism. There will be an accompanying CD and DVD as PBS premiums with extra songs and performances available exclusively through PBS Pledge, Check your local listings. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band continue non-stop touring in celebration of their Golden 50th anniversary planned to run through the end of 2017, with many additional dates to be announced. Plans are to be extensive with select shows featuring special guests in select markets as well as many new exciting show elements. This will be a tour not to be missed. NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND ON TOUR: Feb 12 Shooting Star Casino – Mahnomen, MN March 11 The Palladium at Continue reading NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND JOINS WEBSTER PUBLIC RELATIONS ROSTER