Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Art-For-Art’s-Sake Theatre:
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band “Nowhere To Go”

Time once again for our usual midday Wednesday feature.

Beginning in Long Beach, California, in 1966 as a quirky jug band, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has gone through a dozen changes in lineup, sometimes with former members returning and leaving again, to be one of the most eclectic "roots rock" bands of all time (not to mention one of this writer's all-time favorites). Over the years, they have brought new and fresh awareness of traditional American folk musical genré, through their series of Will The Circle Be Unbroken compilations. In this undated live performance, they appear with what is arguably their most common lineup in recent years: Bob Carpenter, keyboards, vocals; Jimmie Fadden, drums, harmonica, vocals; Jeff Hanna, guitar, vocals, Jimmy Ibbotson, mandolin, lead vocals.

Of the four, Fadden and Hanna have been with the band the entire time. Ibbotson has been with them off and on, but is currently off, and multi-instrumentalist John McEuen returned in 2001, as the band departed from its attempts to go mainstream, and returned to its ... well, roots.

Hanna (in the blue jacket) turned 65 years old today, and shows no signs of retiring -- although he did recently shave his mustache. Don't ask me why.

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