50 Years of Dirt is how NGDB describes their 50th Anniversary Tour. Here are a few things you may not know about this iconic band. We are excited to have them at the Clayton Center this season.
Now in their 5th Decade together, the iconic and profoundly influential Nitty Gritty Dirt Band continues to add to their legendary status. From 1966 L.A. based jug-band beginnings to now they have become one of the ‘longest living’ bands in American music, enjoying major successes in every decade of their career. They were recently (2015) inducted in to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, and in March 2016 their PBS special 50 Year Celebration show aired.
Drawing from their multi-platinum and gold records, they perform a string of top ten hits that includes “Mr. Bojangles”, “Fishin’ In The Dark”, “An American Dream”, “Dance Little Jean”, “Workin’ Man”(penned by band member Jimmie Fadden, harmonica and drums), “God Bless the Broken Road” (penned by band member Jeff Hanna (lead vocals and guitars) iconic bluegrass and acoustic music in overdrive ”Return to Dismal Swamp”(by multi-instrumentalist John McEuen) along with “Ripplin Waters”, “Some of Shelley’s Blues”, “Face on the Cutting Room Floor” and other classics.
Cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in Country Rock and American Roots Music, and always lauded as a great ‘performing band’, their concert audience is drawn in to the world of this unusual group of guys who have pursued their dream for 50 years and been influential to so many.
The NGDB’s rousing hit-lined show features music from their eclectic groundbreaking multi-platinum “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” album (inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress and the Grammy Hall of Fame as a “most important American recording”). Their “Mr. Bojangles” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010, and in 2014 “Fishin’ In the Dark” was certified platinum for digital downloads by the RIAA.
The NGDB’s audience comes from the many time periods of their long career’s achievements, all coming together to celebrate their music that has reached the lives of many generations (often several generations in the same family). Some fans were even drawn to the group from their appearance in Paramount Picture’s musical Paint Your Wagon (1968), putting them on the big screen with Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood, back in their jug-band days.
Now, again on the big screen in the documentary – Free to Rock – (about how American Music brought down the Iron Curtain) NGDB tells their story as the first American band to tour Russia. Their 28 sold out shows in May of 1977 went over so well American bands were not allowed in again for 7 years! Their tour is often recognized as a reasonfor musical change in the USSR.
With multiple Grammy, IBMA, CMA Awards and nominations, theband’s accolades continue to accumulate. Today, NGDB – Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden, John McEuen (all since 1966) and Bob Carpenter (since 1978), – continue their non-stop touring.