“Will The Circle Be Unbroken” by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - album review

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TJR says

Their sixth album, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”, was released in October, 1972. It was a very interesting affair which saw the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – young long-haired west-coast country-rockers – seek to bridge and unite the generation cap via collaborations galore from the bluegrass old-school, including Roy Acuff, “Mother” Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Merle Travis, Pete “Oswald” Kirby, Norman Blake, Jimmy Martin, and others. The ambitious triple LP has much going for it, and, hey, anything bearing the name of either Maybelle, Sara or A.P. Carter is guaranteed to get my maximum attention. The output from that trio in the 1920s and 1930s was treasure-packed to the max.

Maybelle kept herself musically active for as long as she was able to – her latest solo LP was just around the corner, in fact. For me, she steals the show here on this Nitty Gritty set – my 3 album favourites are all strummed and sung by the ever-charming lady. She positively shines on “Wildwood Flower” (lead vocals, autoharp); “Keep On The Sunny Side” (lead vocals, guitar) and “I’m Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes” (lead vocals, guitar). Top cut “Wildwood Flower” is best known through performances and recordings by the Carter Family – A.P. Carter arranged it for recording in 1928 – but the song predates them somewhat. The original title was “I’ll Twine ‘Mid The Ringlets” and was written in 1860, with words by Maud Irving and music by Joseph Philbrick Webster (1819-1875).

Way back in ’35 Sara, A.P. and Maybelle sang a 3-part harmony version of “Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?” YES, will always be my unequivocal answer!

The Jukebox Rebel
31-Jan-2016

A1 [02:59] 5.0.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Grand Ole Opry Song (Hylo Brown) Country
A2 [03:35] 8.3.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Keep On The Sunny Side (Ada Blenkhorn, J. Howard Entwisle) Country
A3 [03:10] 5.6.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Nashville Blues (Earl Scruggs) Country
A4 [03:35] 4.6.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - You Are My Flower (Alvin Pleasant Carter) Country
A5 [03:30] 5.1.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - The Precious Jewel (Roy Acuff) Country
A6 [02:45] 5.7.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Dark As A Dungeon (Merle Travis) Country
B1 [04:22] 5.1.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Tennessee Stud (Jimmie Driftwood) Country
B2 [02:10] 5.3.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Black Mountain Rag (Traditional) Country
B3 [03:24] 6.0.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Wreck On The Highway (Dorsey Dixon) Country
B4 [03:53] 5.7.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - The End Of The World (Fred Rose) Country
B5 [03:45] 5.9.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - I Saw The Light (Hank Williams) Country
C1 [02:14] 5.4.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Sunny Side Of The Mountain (Byron Gregory, Harry McAuliffe) Country
C2 [02:14] 4.7.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Nine-Pound Hammer (Merle Travis) Country
C3 [02:44] 5.0.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Losin’ You (Might Be The Best Thing Yet) (Edria A. Humphrey, Jimmy Martin) Country
C4 [02:19] 5.4.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Honky Tonkin’ (Hank Williams) Country
C5 [02:45] 4.5.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - You Don’t Know My Mind (Jimmie Skinner) Country
C6 [02:02] 4.5.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - My Walkin’ Shoes (Jimmy Martin, Paul Williams) Country
D1 [02:41] 6.2.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Lonesome Fiddle Blues (Vassar Clements) Country
D2 [01:15] 6.3.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Cannonball Rag (Merle Travis) Country
D3 [02:50] 5.4.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Avalanche (Millie Clements) Country
D4 [02:12] 5.5.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Flint Hill Special (Earl Scruggs) Country
D5 [02:25] 5.3.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Togary Mountain (Walter McEuen) Country
D6 [02:34] 5.2.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Earl’s Breakdown (Earl Scruggs) Country
D7 [02:14] 6.2.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Orange Blossom Special (Ervin T. Rouse) Country
D8 [02:00] 5.7.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Wabash Cannonball (Alvin Pleasant Carter, J.A. Roff) Country
E1 [03:37] 5.0.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Lost Highway (Leon Payne) Country
E2 [01:52] 5.7.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Doc Watson & Merle Travis First Meeting (Dialogue) (Doc Watson, Merle Travis) Speech / Chat
E3 [03:30] 5.2.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Way Downtown (Traditional, Doc Watson) Country
E4 [01:48] 4.9.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Down Yonder (Doc Watson) Country
E5 [02:53] 5.3.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Pins And Needles (Floyd Jenkins) Country
E6 [02:22] 4.3.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Honky Tonk Blues (Hank Williams) Country
E7 [02:00] 5.9.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Sailin’ On To Hawaii (Beecher Kirby) Country
F1 [04:25] 6.9.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - I’m Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes (Traditional) Country
F2 [02:55] 4.5.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - I Am A Pilgrim (Traditional) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
F3 [03:34] 8.4.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Wildwood Flower (Alvin Pleasant Carter, Maud Irving, Joseph Philbrick Webster) Country
F4 [02:05] 5.8.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Soldier’s Joy (John McEuen, Earl Scruggs) Country
F5 [04:50] 5.7.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Alvin Pleasant Carter) Country
F6 [02:19] 5.0.png Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell) Songwriter




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