Any entertainer will tell you that being in a band is sometimes just as stressful as being married to 3 or 4 people at the same time. Those that remain together after a couple of years are fortunate, and those that make it past ten years have achieved more than most. The award winning Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has weathered many years together, after their first performance in 1966. Since then they’ve accumulated a string of hit songs and tallied up countless road miles together. Last Friday night, they rode into Arlington, and entertained a willing crowd for a few hours, that seemed to fly by all too quickly.
Individually, the band is comprised of Jeff Hanna, John McEuen, Jimmie Fadden and Bob Carpenter; collectively their musicianship and songwriting skills are formidable. They’ve spent a lifetime not only being ground-breakers, but also, bridge builders, carrying the tradition of great music of forward in its purest form, for future generations.
On Friday night, their sole purpose was to entertain, and they hit the target spot on while rockin’, pickin’ and twangin’ their way through a handful of newer songs interspersed with a healthy representation of their greatest hits from Fishin’ in the Dark and Mr Bojangles to Dance Little Jean and Face on the Cutting Room Floor, just to name a few.
What makes the NGDB legendary is much more than their accumulated platinum and gold records; it is their stellar musicianship, and how the spotlight at center stage is shared as much as possible, while showcasing the versatility of the band’s talent. Last Friday, Jimmie Fadden stepped out from behind his drums, and into the spotlight with his harp, and Bob Carpenter left his keyboard to perform The Broken Road, with Jeff Hanna accompanying him on guitar. John McEuen, who originally helped found the band, could, and has been, a one man show, himself. He switched instruments at ease, and his talents, whether they be on mandolin, fiddle or banjo, are an integral component that helped create the band’s signature sound.
No NGDB show would be complete without a performance of their biggest and most recognizable song, Will The Circle Be Unbroken and the band not only didn’t disappoint, but they also kicked things up a notch, by calling up Rudy Gatlin to the stage to help them sing it. It was a fitting end to an evening well spent, with good music and good friends.
Find out more about the band, and their music at: http://www.nittygritty.com/
The Arlington Music Hall’s Country Music series continues with even more of your favorite country music artists. Lined up to appear soon are:
George Jones – April 27th
Leroy Van Dyke, Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius and Rex Allen Jr. – May 11th
Bryan White – May 26th
Deryl Dodd – Jun 22nd
Gene Watson – Aug 3rd
Find out more here.