Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Welcome to Woody Creek
First Appeared in The Music Box, October 2004, Volume 11, #10
Written by John Metzger
Despite its countless country hits, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band forever will be known as the ensemble that, in 1972, organized the star-studded, blockbuster-selling, boundary-breaking effort Will the Circle Be Unbroken. In fact, the phenomenon weighs so heavily upon the groupís legacy that it has returned to this concept not once, but twice within the past 15 years in an attempt to resuscitate its rapidly dwindling exposure in an increasingly narrow music market. While its latest outing Welcome to Woody Creek isnít a similarly-styled, celebrity-packed affair, it does contain a wealth of songs that exude the laid-back charm that the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has relayed with effortless ease during the finest moments of its career. Both the tender ballad Jealous Moon, with its tight-knit harmonies and blues-laced guitar, as well as the breezy pop of Any Love But Our Love highlight how much influence the group had upon the early í70s Southern California scene, while the twang-y rock of Forever Donít Last illuminates the power it held over progressive bluegrass outfits such as Leftover Salmon. Elsewhere, Walkiní in the Sunshine sparkles with its perky, classic rock sheen, and The Beatlesí Get Back is transformed into a whirling, banjo-driven jam session. Unfortunately, the few missteps taken by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on Welcome to Woody Creek ó most notably She and Old Timeís Sake ó are duller than watching paint dry, and as a result, they devastatingly mar an otherwise warm and wonderful collection.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box