John McEuen at the Dogwood on January 13
I first recall hearing the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band when they covered the classic Jerry Jeff Walker creation Mr. Bojangles, a captivating ballad involving a rather remarkable chance meeting behind bars. It took off on the pop charts and the album it came from ‘Uncle Charley and His Dog Teddy’ had a couple other cuts that showcased some of the outstanding string work of John McEuen.
Then a couple years later, if memory serves, the band merely changed the course of music when they arrived in Nashville, not exactly a hotbed of long haired musicians in those days. They recorded the groundbreaking ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’ an absolutely extraordinary collaboration that gave rise to a whole new Bluegrass revival (area folks close to my age might recall the popularity of Cabbage Crik in the mid-late 70’s). The 3 record set has been a personal favorite long enough to have owned incarnations of it in vinyl, 8 track, cassette, CD and once again back to vinyl.
Band member John McEuen was the driving force for this meeting of the musical minds when the likes of country music legends like Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Jimmy Martin, Vassar Clements, Roy Acuff, Mother Maybelle Carter and others agreed to participate. I cannot even fathom how those sessions must have gone down.
McEuen is renowned for his multi instrumental artistry. He is a true icon who took the music he loved and carried it into the mainstream.
And he is coming to the Dogwood. Our Dogwood. In Fremont. Soon.
If you are interested in hearing some seriously fine music, mark this one down. It’s already on my calendar and I might even see if I can find that old 8 track .
Never know when a possible autograph opportunity might arise.
-Ken De Laat
Here’s the skinny on the concert:
Multi-instrumentalist John McEuen, best known as a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt
Band, will perform on the Dogwood Center Main Stage on Saturday, January 13 at 7:30 p.m. McEuen, a key figure in the history of American folk music, will be performing with The Circle Band.
McEuen brings with him 45+ years of worldwide performing with his banjo, fiddle,
guitar, and mandolin. Often dubbed ‘the String Wizard’, he weaves stories of his travels and family life, taking the audience through where his musical path has taken him.
A founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, McEuen initiated the band’s classic
1972 album Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which brought together icons from bluegrass, country, and West Coast country-rock and holds a place in the Library of Congress as one of America’s most important recordings.
His Circle Band includes Les Thompson, a founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt
Band; Danny Knicely and Bryan McDowell.
Tickets are $20.00 and are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-
Artsplace in downtown Fremont, on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com or make it easy and click here! For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
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