Dirt Band's 'Circle' Still Unbroken 30 Years On

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" will be reissued March 26 via Capitol Nashville. Originally released in 1972, the double-album set un

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" will be reissued March 26 via Capitol Nashville. Originally released in 1972, the double-album set united the California-based burgeoning country rock movement with some of Nashville's greatest, and introduced the Dirt Band's country and bluegrass influences to a new generation.

With what the continuing success of Mercury's Grammy-nominated "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack has established, this digitally remastered version of "Circle" takes advantage of the resurging interest in American roots music it established three decades ago. Along with new liner notes, the collection adds two previously unreleased bonus tracks -- Earl Scruggs' "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and Stuart Hamblen's "Remember Me" -- pushing the album's total to 40 tracks.

At the suggestion of then manager/producer Bill McEuen, and with the help of admitted Dirt Band fan Scruggs, the group convinced the likes of traditionalists Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Roy Acuff, Merle Travis, Norman Blake, and Jimmy Martin to spend six days in the summer of 1971 recording with what Acuff called "a bunch of longhaired West Coast boys." The result was a landmark recording of classic country songs that won the Nitty Gritty camp respect in country circles and opened the doors of Nashville to a new audience.

"With a career that spans thirty-six years, 'Will The Circle Be Unbroken' still stands as our proudest moment," guitarist/vocalist Jeff Hanna says of the album.

Last summer, founding member/multi-instrumentalist John McEuen reunited with the current line-up of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band -- which consists of fellow founding members Hanna and Jimmie Fadden, and longtime members Jimmy Ibbotson and Bob Carpenter -- for a handful of tour dates, and a fall Canadian tour supporting Alabama.

McEuen, who according to his Web site recently wrapped a brief solo tour, will join the band again in 2002 for a handful of tour dates scheduled to kick off with a July 26 appearance at the annual Frontier Days festival in Cheyenne, Wy.
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