Day: March 22, 2009

Five albums for a desert island: The Circle Album

I still remember coming home sometime in 1972 — I was a junior or senior in high school — and putting Will the Circle be Unbroken on my stereo. I had started focusing on acoustic music (such as James Taylor) a year or two before, but I was soon exploring more of the roots of folk, which led me to the record bin on that fateful day when I found this record with the funny looking cover by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band — a country-rock ensemble I had recently seen in concert. There was a little patter to start the record, which was unusual in and of itself in that era of over-produced rock albums, with Jimmy Martin commenting on John McEuen’s banjo kick-off by saying, “Earl never did do that….”  But then Martin, the Dirt Band, and their musical guests were off with a rollicking version of The Grand Ole Opry Song. Decades before O Brother Where Art Thou?, there was Will the Circle Be Unbroken when some long-haired hippies and rockers took country, bluegrass, and mountain …