Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Celebrates 50 Years

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The rousing finale at The Ryman

 

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to Release ‘Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Friends’ – Circlin’ Back: Celebrating 50 Years

CD and CD/DVD combo recorded live at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium

Some of us were fortunate enough to witness this event.

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Last Taste

USA Music Tour 2015 Day 31

Nashville Tennessee 20 September 

Our last day in glorious Nashville.  A day at leisure, for tomorrow we transit to L.A. and the long flight to Melbourne

The day commenced with some serious discussion as to how to make the most of the day without doing anything too strenuous.  There were lots of choices – an Aussie showcase all afternoon and evening, a music bash over in East Nashville and Jay Farrar and Parker Milsap at 3rd and Lindsley tonight.  Also, I haven’t been to Robert’s Western World (the best honky-tonk bar on Broadway), Ernest Tubbs’ Record Store or the Country Music Hall Of Fame this trip.  Plus, it’s been a few days since we’ve had a square, sit-down dinner.

Plans were hatched.

Morning coffee at Bonds was abandoned as it was closed today, so we kept walking toward Downtown, stumbling upon another establishment Tin Cup on 8th for an excellent macchiato.

Then a saunter towards Broadway, past the singing Barbershop Harmony building

photo Jim Jacob

photo Jim Jacob

photo Jim Jacob

and into the iconic Ernest Tubb Record Store, ongoing since 1947, one of the few authentic places on Broadway.

Well, maybe not for much longer?  Every time I return, the store looks more bare and the CD stock has diminished even further this time around, with the racks being only about 20% full now.  Let’s hope it gets some revitalisation and doesn’t go the way of the rest of the strip.

photo Jim Jacob

photo Jim Jacob

I’d been to the Country Music Hall of Fame back in 2008 and was ready to return, particularly given two new exhibits – Sam Phillips/Sun Studio and Bob Dylan/Johnny Cash and the Nashville Cats.  There’s plenty to see and it took a while to get through it all.  Highly recommended.

photo Jim Jacob

photo Jim Jacob

photo Jim Jacob

photo Jim Jacob

photo Jim Jacob

photo Jim Jacob

photo Jim Jacob

photo Jim Jacob

Over to Robert’s Western World for some authentic country swing.  Today it was Rachael Hester and the Tennessee Walkers.

photo Jim Jacob

photo Jim Jacob

photo Jim Jacob

A solid meal at Demo’s and a cab to The Blue Bar for a little taste of the Aussie talent.

Daniel Champagne – photo Jim Jacob

Tomorrow the trek home.

It’s been a fun four weeks.

Hope you have enjoyed following the journey.

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The Rose, The Legend And The Darling Duo

USA Music Tour 2015 Day 30

Nashville Tennessee Saturday 19 September

Today is official close-out day at the Americana Music Festival.  The Conference part has concluded but there’s plenty of events around the town, culminating in tonight’s big bash at The Ascend Amphitheatre by the Cumberland River.

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On Stage And Off The Record

USA Music Tour 2015 Day 29

Nashville Tennessee Friday 18 September

Fatigue is starting to set in.

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Station Inn, Station Union, Station Sirius FM and Great Scott!!

USA Music Tour 2015 Day 28

Nashville Tennessee 17 September

There were six super Americanafest events I wanted to go to at around noon, all at different locations around the great city of Nashville, ridiculously good!

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Awards and Other Good Stuff

USA Music Tour 2015 Day 27

Nashville Tennessee 16 September

The AMA-UK is a professional trade association advocating Americana roots music in the UK.  Today it was hosting a showcase at The Blue Bar from noon to 2pm, just near the Conference hub The Hutton Hotel where we needed to pick up our registration material.

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A Lesson In Good Songwriting

USA Music Tour 2015 Day 26

Nashville Tennessee 15 September

Over coffee at The Bond Coffee Company, the group discussed the wonderful musical treats yesterday evening and night.  It’s fair to say that we all learned a good deal about The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band than we knew before.

The Americana fest officially kicks off this evening.  Registration at The Basement followed by a line-up of Patrick Sweany, Della Mae and a bluegrass evening hosted by Noam Pikelny of the Punch Brothers.  Over the Cumberland River, The Basement East has a long list of artists headlined by The Super Suckers and The Bottle Rockets.  At the iconic Bluebird Cafe, there were two sessions of Australians performing.  We determined the best course of action for the night was The City Winery where there was a photography exhibit, a book signing and performances by JD and The Straight Shots, Jewel, JD Souther and Donnie Fritts & John Paul White.

We would drive to The Basement (West) and forage through the adjacent Grimey’s record store (better to go early before stocks run out), get out Festival Registration tickets and goody bags, take everything back to our house, walk to The Gulch for dinner and walk to The City Winery.

That was the plan anyway.

First, a coffee.  Second, I had to return my rental car to the airport.  Thanks to Jason and Sandra for driving behind me and giving me a lift back to the house.

Third, to Grimey’s Record Store, where I was able to pick up albums by John Moreland, Whitehorse, The Decemberists, Gary Clark Jr, Angel Olsen, Honeyhoney and a couple of others.  a good fishing day!!  A little rest at The Frothy Monkey and we obtained our Americana registration passes (sadly, no goody bags), saw some Australian artists getting their tickets (Liz Stringer, Luke Richardson and Cat Leahy) and back to the house for dropping off the car.

the back of Grimey’s record store and the basement – photo Jim Jacob

photo Jim Jacob

the Australians have arrived – photo Jim Jacob

Our plans changed as we decided to go to The City Winery for dinner, so as to get there earlier and get the best position.  We arrived after a thirty minute walk (slightly longer than expected as a stationary freight train blocked our path).

on the way to the City Winery, Jack White’s van – photo Jim Jacob

The City Winery is twelve months old almost to the day.  I know because I was here for the Lucinda Williams concert at Americana last year, when the premises had not even been completed.  It was much softer now.  A nice meal and a chat with Tim from Virginia.  Also great to see radio announcer, editor and writer Brian Wise at the show, having just arrived in Nashville.

The first act was JD and the Straight Shot, who are based in New York.  JD is Jim Dolan whose stage presence is laid back as far as lead singers go, and a voice which is pleasant but not dynamic in range.  There was a great band, however, with Marc Copely on lead guitar, JD’s son Aidan on rhythm guitar and a live-wire violinist Erin Slaver.  Completing the outfit was Byron House on bass, who had played with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band the night before at the Ryman Auditorium.  I liked “Better Find A Church” and “Ballyhoo” had a pulsating instrumental segment.  The new album by the band was left at each chair in the venue which was a nice touch.

JD and the Straight Shot – photo Jim Jacob

Erin Slaver and Marc Copely – photo Jim Jacob

Jewel had just release a new book entitled Never Broken and was on hand for a signing session.  Her life sounds extremely interesting, experiences that are way beyond the norm – major parental issues, homelessness, shoplifting, ill-health and poverty and then redemption through music and a powerful voice.  Sassy and expressive.

Jewel – photo Jim Jacob

Jewel – photo Jim Jacob

JD Souther.  Let me see, producer, co-writer for The Eagles and Linda Ronstadt, solo artist spanning many years and he’s even acted in the Nashville television series.  And another talent he possesses is that of a fine, fine singer.  Tonight he had a superb band – piano, bass, saxophone and drums.  Two songs from his new album Tenderness released this May – “Something In The Dark” and “Dance Real Slow”, his known songs such as “The New Kid In Town”, “Prisoner In Disguise” and “You’re Only Lonely” and classics such as “Ain’t Misbehaving” and a jazzed-up “Oh Lonesome Me”.  A terrific set.

JD Souther – photo Jim Jacob

JD Souther – photo Jim Jacob

Last but no way least.  Donnie Fritts and John Paul Jones.  Fritts I had heard of before and had seen references to his songwriting talents just a few days ago in The Alabama Music Hall Of Fame.  John Paul White is best known as half of the now defunct The Civil Wars.  Fritts has been a key player in the development of the Muscle Shoals sound and influence, and songwriter for many fine artists.  Tonight the set was special.  Revered player Spooner Oldham was at the table next to me to enjoy.  Fritts sang “Errol Flynn”, “Oldest Baby In a The World”, “We Had It All”.  Fritts wrote and Jones sang one of the songs written for Dusty Springfield’s incomparable album Dusty In Memphis.  A beautiful song and Jones’s singing was outstanding.

This was the set of the night.  A tribute to a legendary musical influence, whose name should be forever appreciated.

Donnie Fritts and John Paul White – photo Jim Jacob

Tomorrow, the Americana Honors and Awards Show and we’ll work out the rest of the day in the morning.

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