Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's New Live EP Under the Big Top Vol. 1 Available Now

The iconic and profoundly influential Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (NGDB), often cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in Country Rock and American Roots Music, released their new live EP called Under the Big Top Vol. 1 this week. The EP features six fan favorites performed live including "Mr. Bojangles," "Bless the Broken Road" and "Fishin' in the Dark," which was recently certified GOLD by the RIAA for digital sales. Recorded in 2010 at the band's performance at Big Top Chautauqua in Wisconsin, the EP perfectly captures a live experience with NGDB.

"It's a little slice of Dirt...a combo platter of hits, fan-favorites and even some music from our latest CD, Speed of Life," said band member Jeff Hanna. "We recorded it last summer at one of our favorite venues, Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield, Wisconsin. We had such a blast we knew it had to be shared with the fans!"

Available now and featured for digital download at iTunes and in the band's online store, Under the Big Top Vol. 1 is a must-have for any Nitty Gritty fan. Physical albums of this new Live EP are available now, only at nittygritty.com or a live NGDB show.

With multi-platinum and gold records, a string of top ten hits, multiple Grammy, IBMA, CMA Awards and nominations, and recent GOLD Digital Certification, the band's accolades only continue to accumulate. Showing no signs of slowing down, NGDB is currently on an extensive North American Tour in support of their most recent release, the critically acclaimed album Speed of Life (2009, Sugar Hill Records). Proving the "circle won't be unbroken," the band is celebrating another HUGE milestone this year, over four decades of touring and making music!

For a full list of tour dates visit www.nittygritty.com

Country Mice Announce Summer Tour Dates

What does Country Mice front-man Jason Rueger have in common with less than 300 people in the US?  Growing up in Beattie, that’s ruralest of rural Kansas. On a farm of course, that was passed down through three generations of his family and old enough to be on the Pony Express route. “Family, friends, and working the land gave us a good wholesome life”.
Walking dirt road paths, working and living off the land, squinting his eyes at the sun, but with headphones on, it is not the bucolic atmosphere but music that most inspires him.  At an early age, Rueger sets his sights for something different than the surrounding dirt and milo that stung his eyes and cut his hands.
Breaking away from the close-knit ties of friends and family, Rueger moves east, not to Nashville, where you might expect a country boy to venture, but to Brooklyn.  It doesn’t take long to hook up with fellow Midwest transplants Ben Bullington (guitar) and Kurt Kuehn (drums) as they all quickly band together, finding comfort in their shared sense of displacement.  Eventually, as the trio becomes more assimilated to their new surroundings, they recruit upstate New Yorker Mike Feldman (bass).
As Country Mice, they rally together to craft apocalyptic ballads through amplifier hazes that thicken into funnel clouds, drums that stomp-clap sedately before the storm peaks, and bass tones that thicken the bloodstream. Rueger draws on his small town rearing with sophistication beyond the ordinarily romantic and reductive Americana troubadour, and his songwriting is anything but dime a dozen.
Strong traces of Neil Young and Wilco are mixed into modern experimental guitar sounds that any fan of mid-90’s Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. will love. Living and gigging in Brooklyn, Country Mice begin to fully develop their sound, which becomes by influenced the other hardworking bands of Brooklyn's fast-paced scene.
Their debut album Twister is out now.It's a record that sonically chisels through the calloused shell of glossy rock & roll to find the dissonant live wire beneath and play it for all its worth. It tells a tale of strained memory: the hardships, joys, and love of growing up in a small town in the Midwest, with the hopes and dreams of traveling the world – a record for every kid seeing the big world from his small bedroom window.
Summer Tour Dates:
July 5 Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands
July 9 Brooklyn NY @ Cameo Gallery
July 13 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
July 15 Chicago, IL @ Cal's Bar
July 16 N. Manchester, IN @ The Firehouse
July 17 Indianapolis, IN @ Melody Inn
July 18 Louisville, KY @ Sunergos
July 19 Little Rock, AR @ Vino's
July 20 Mobile, AL @ Alabama Music Box
July 21 San Antonio, TX @ Limelight
July 22 Austin, TX @ Stubb's
July 23 Oklahoma City, OK @ Blue Note Lounge
July 24 Tulsa, OK @ Sound Pony
July 25 Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room
July 26 Columbia, MO @ Mojo's
July 27 St. Louis, MO @ Ciceros
July 28 Cincinnati, OH @ Southgate House
July 29 Atlanta, GA @ The Drunken Unicorn
July 30 Savanna, GA @ The Jinx
July 31 Durham, NC @ The Pinhook
Aug. 1 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band @ Boulder Theater

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band formed in Southern California during the spring of 1966 as a scruffy, young jug-band. Forty-two years later, the quartet (Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden, Bob Carpenter and John McEuen) is still going strong.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s self-titled debut album, released in 1967, included the pop hit “Buy For Me The Rain.” But it was their 5th record, 1970's Uncle Charlie and His Dog Teddy, that would become band's breakthrough project, yielding 3 pop hits including their version of Jerry Jeff Walker's “Mr. Bojangles.” Among the many outstanding tracks on Uncle Charlie was a version of Earl Scruggs' “Randy Lynn Rag.” That cut set into motion what would become the Will the Circle be Unbroken album, a veritable summit of talent which included NDGB’s heroes: Scruggs, Doc Watson, Merel Travis, Roy Acuff and Mother Maybelle Carter. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Circle... album, a three-LP set,recorded live in the studio in Nashville over six days in 1971, became a landmark event and a multi-platinum success. Circle remains such a significant effort that 30 years later it was one of 50 recordings to be honored and preserved by the Library of Congress.
In the early 80’s, after a few more pop hits, the band returned to Nashville once again and began what would become a highly successful career in mainstream country music. Hits that included “Dance Little Jean,” "Workin' Man", "Long Hard Road", “Baby's Got A Hold On Me” and “Fishin' in the Dark” put them at the top of the country charts for over a decade. In 1989, the group revisited the Circle concept, gathering another impressive roster of performers (including Johnny Cash, EmmyLou Harris, Levon Helm, Chet Atkins, Bruce Hornsby, John Hiatt and Roseanne Cash) for sessions that had a pronounced country-gospel feel. Circle II would go on to win three Grammy Awards and the Country Music Association Album of the Year. In 2002 Circle III (with many current artists added to the previous cast) received similar accolades and attention, garnering the International Bluegrass Music Association Recorded Event of the Year award as well as leading to a 2005 Grammy for Country Instrumental Performance (with Earl Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Jerry Douglas and the late Vassar Clements). With a career that spans five decades, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has gone from a hippie jug-band to pioneers of country rock, and their influence is still being felt today.
Friday July 9, 8:00pm
Tickets will be on sale through the Boulder Theater box office | Internet 24-7 at www.bouldertheater.com | Phone: During box office hours 303-786-7030


nitty"This album has a real spirit of renewal," Jeff Hanna says of Welcome to Woody Creek, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Dualtone debut. "In some ways, it's a return to where we began. But it's also the start of a whole new thing for us."

Over the course of a recording and performing career that spans five decades and over 30 albums, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has earned a unique status as one of America's most respected and beloved musical institutions. Since their early days in the vanguard of the '60s country-rock movement, they've consistently drawn from a broad array of influences to make music that's distinctly their own. Along the way, they've scored several hit singles, won countless awards and collaborated with an impressive assortment of contemporaries and legends.

The durable quintet's formidable creative chemistry is particularly potent on Welcome to Woody Creek. The 12-song album finds the multitalented, multiinstrumental combo—guitarist/vocalist Jeff Hanna, guitarist/bassist/mandolinist/vocalist Jimmy Ibbotson, keyboardist/vocalist Bob Carpenter guitarist/banjoist/drummer/harmonica player Jimmie Fadden and mandolinist/fiddler John McEuen—demonstrating the musical and personal rapport that's endeared them to fans around the world. Hanna, Fadden and McEuen were present for the band's formation in the mid-1960s, while Ibbotson came on board in 1969; Carpenter joined up in 1976.

The new album—the NGDB's first full-length studio effort since 1998, and their first since McEuen's return in 2001 following a stretch of solo projects—is something of a landmark in the group's storied career. The five bandmates cut the bulk of the album in the relaxed setting of Ibbotson's home studio in Woody Creek, Colorado, unencumbered by the pressures of a formal studio situation.

The resulting album is a compelling showcase for the band's effortless expertise and seamless versatility. The rootsy pop numbers "Walkin' in the Sunshine," "It's Morning" and "Forever Don't Last" and the poignant ballads "Jealous Moon" and "Any Love But Our Love" distill the same homespun blend of solid songcraft and emotional substance that originally earned the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band its reputation, as do the rollicking rural workout "Party on the Mountain," the country-gospel tune "Safe Back Home" and the moody instrumental "Midnight at Woody Creek."

Another standout track is the wry "It's a New Day" (penned by Hanna's wife, renowned singer/songwriter Matraca Berg, and ace tunesmith Tim Krekel) a cautiously optimistic number that taps into the theme of a renewed spirit.

Welcome to Woody Creek also continues the band's longstanding tradition of astute interpretations of outside material, with a haunting, heartfelt reading of Gram Parsons' evocative ballad "She," as well as a playful bluegrass reworking of The Beatles' "Get Back" that recalls the group's early days.

"We used to fool around with bluegrass versions of Beatle songs back in the early days," Hanna explains. "We kind of rediscovered 'Get Back' when John McEuen rejoined the band and we started playing it live. I think we cut it the first or second day in Woody Creek; it's essentially a live track, and it was a perfect way to get ourselves in the right frame of mind for this project."

"Get Back" is typical of Welcome to Woody Creek's emphasis on earthy, unpretentious performances, with a minimum of production frills. "This album's kind of going back to what we were doing in the late '60s and early '70s," Hanna observes. "When I listen to it, I hear that same spirit that we had then, but with a lot more experience and a little more maturity."

Welcome to Woody Creek's loose, organic vibe is largely a by-product of its stripped-down recording approach. "Colorado is our adopted home, and we've returned there as often as possible," says McEuen. "Woody Creek's atmosphere is a lot like Aspen was when we first went there in 1970. It was a perfect place to go and make some music; we had great memories to reflect on, and new ones to make."

"The most refreshing part of this project was just getting in there and being left to our own devices," Hanna enthuses. "It's been a long time since we made a record that way—just went into a room and looked at each other and said 'Let's see what we can come up with.' "

"The whole process," he explains, "happened very naturally and very quickly. We originally went in just to do some demos, but we liked what we heard so much that the demos became the record, more or less. We didn't even have a record deal when we started recording; we just went ahead and made some music and figured we'd find a home for it."

The informal, spontaneous atmosphere resulted in some of the band's most inspired performances to date. "When you strive for perfection, you risk losing the feel in the process," Hanna notes, adding, "Anybody who's made a record has had the experience of trying to beat the demo—trying to capture the original moment of inspiration that you felt the first time you played the song. I think we avoided that on this one by keeping the original moment of inspiration. Sonically, it reminds me of the records that we made in the early '70s."

Indeed, Welcome to Woody Creek maintains a deep connection to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's eventful musical history. The group has played a key role in rock's rediscovery of its early rural roots, from their early days as a fledgling jug band at the legendary McCabe's Guitar Shop, to their 1967 debut hit "Buy for Me the Rain," to their pioneering country-rock explorations on such highly regarded albums as 1970's Uncle Charlie and His Dog Teddy (which included the group's first Top Ten pop hit "Mr. Bojangles") and 1975's Dream, to their widely acclaimed three-LP 1972 set Will the Circle Be Unbroken. The latter project was an unprecedented and momentous undertaking, teaming the band with such country, bluegrass and folk giants as Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs and Mother Maybelle Carter. It was followed by acclaimed sequels in 1989 and 2003.

In the course of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's evolution, the group's lineup has included such notable fellow travelers as a pre-stardom Jackson Browne, Kaleidoscope member Chris Darrow and Eagles/Flying Burrito Brothers guitarist Bernie Leadon.

For a few years in the late '70s and early '80s, the group shortened its name to the Dirt Band and scored memorable pop hits with "An American Dream" and "Make A Little Magic." In 1984, they made headlines as the first American rock act to tour the Soviet Union. Through the remainder of the '80s, they reassumed their original full-length moniker, and achieved substantial success on the country charts with numerous hits including the Number One singles "Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper's Dream)," "Modern Day Romance" and "Fishin' in the Dark." Meanwhile, the group's trailblazing embrace of its musical roots was echoed increasingly in rock's emerging Americana movement.

Although they've achieved an enviable level of commercial success over the years, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band continues to stick with its original sources of inspiration. "We're grateful whenever we get on the radio, but things like singles and airplay aren't as big an issue for us anymore," Hanna asserts.

"Now we're more concerned with just making music that we feel good about and can stand behind," adds Fadden.

"We did very little overdubbing and doubling of instruments on this album—a lot less than we would have if we'd been trying to make a contemporary 'radio' record," Carpenter points out. "I think it sounds more like us because of that."

"The five of us playing together make a sound that nobody else makes," Hanna says. "Whether it's good, bad or indifferent, it's ours. We're all like brothers and the way we play together is pretty instinctive at this point. There are times when we've gotten a little too perfect for our own good, so the ability to be scruffy is important to us."

That blend of mastery and understatement allows Welcome to Woody Creek to capture the sound of a veteran band still discovering new strengths. As Ibbotson points out, "There's a line in the liner notes of this album that says, 'It seems that we've been playing music with each other since we were schoolboys, but every now and then it's good for us to look at each other in a new light.' I think that taking ourselves away from the grind of the music business to make this record has really helped us to rediscover our bond, and to rediscover what's special about this band."

"We really consider this album to be the beginning of something for us, and I think that this is how we want to make records for the rest of our career," Hanna states, adding, "It's a really great time for us. I think that people are hungry to hear real music made by people singing and playing together. That's great for us, because that's what we do."