Music

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Unveil New Two-Disc Collection ‘Anthology’

David McClister

Long-running Americana act the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band celebrates over 50 years of recordings with its forthcoming two-disc anthology, out Sept. 29 on Capitol Records Nashville.

The project was supervised by guitarist, singer and band co-founder Jeff Hanna. It includes 39 tracks spanning the band’s entire career, plus extensive liner notes by author and journalist Holly Gleason. “We really wanted this collection to historically reflect our band’s timeline, but in addition to that, felt like it was important to include deeper cuts (‘Fish Song,’ ‘Cosmic Cowboy’) and instrumentals (‘Randy Lynn Rag,’ ‘Midnight at Woody Creek’), and fan favorites (‘Ripplin’ Waters,’ ‘Bayou Jubilee’),” Hanna says in a press release.

Since 1966, the rock-infused band has remained active as roots revivals and traditional county movements have come and gone. Their breakthrough hit was a 1970 cover of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles,” exposing folk and rock audiences to a then-unsung country songwriter and establishing the band as roots music ambassadors.

READ MORE: How the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” Saved Traditional Country Music

The band’s greatest contribution to county music remains 1972’s Will The Circle Be Unbroken. The double album retold the story of country music with help from Roy Acuff, Maybelle Carter, Vassar Clements and others. Well-received sequels followed in 1989 and 2002, incorporating the same general theme and a heaping helping of special guests.

Hanna did a fine job culling a wide variety of cuts from the band’s extensive back catalog, exposing old fans and new listeners to more than just the hits and historic roots music happenings.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Anthology Track Listing:

  1. Buy For Me The Rain
  2. Some Of Shelly’s Blues
  3. Uncle Charlie Interview
  4. Mr. Bojangles
  5. Randy Lynn Rag
  6. House At Pooh Corner
  7. Opus 36
  8. Fish Song
  9. Jambalaya (On The Bayou)
  10. Grand Ole Opry Song (featuring Jimmy Martin)
  11. You Are My Flower
  12. Tennessee Stud (featuring Doc Watson)
  13. I Saw The Light (featuring Roy Acuff)
  14. Honky Tonkin’
  15. Will The Circle Be Unbroken (featuring Mother Maybelle Carter)
  16. Cosmic Cowboy (Part 1)
  17. Battle Of New Orleans
  18. Bayou Jubilee/Sally Was A Goodun
  19. Ripplin’ Waters
  20. Mother Earth (Provides For Me)
  21. Bowlegs
DISC 2
  1. An American Dream (featuring Linda Ronstadt)
  2. Make A Little Magic (featuring Nicolette Larson)
  3. Shot Full Of Love
  4. Dance Little Jean
  5. Colorado Christmas (featuring Emmylou Harris)
  6. Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper’s Dream)
  7. Fishin’ In The Dark
  8. Workin’ Man (Nowhere to Go)
  9. You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere (featuring Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman)
  10. The Valley Road (featuring Bruce Hornsby)
  11. When It’s Gone
  12. Waitin’ On A Dark Eyed Gal
  13. Bless The Broken Road
  14. Catfish John (featuring Alison Krauss)
  15. The Lowlands (featuring Jaime Hanna and Jonathan McEuen)
  16. Tears In The Holston River (featuring Johnny Cash)
  17. Midnight At Woody Creek
  18. The Resurrection (featuring Matraca Berg)

Now Watch: Shane Owens Shares the Story Behind the Song “Country Never Goes out of Style”

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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Unveil New Two-Disc Collection ‘Anthology’