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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

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The age-old adage that says, "absence makes the heart grow fonder," could easily apply to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's new recording, "Welcome to Woody Creek," by making a few substitutions - the word 'heart' with 'music,' and 'fonder' with 'better.' The 'absence' in this case was John McEuen, who left the band in 1987 to pursue some solo projects, but rejoined his perennial pickers in 2001. According to guitarist/vocalist Jeff Hanna, McEuen's return rejuvenated the group. Essentially, it was the first step towards creating "Welcome to Woody Creek."  ...
While it's an overstatement to suggest that The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band doesn't get any respect, it's still safe to say this pioneering country group hardly receives the props it so richly deserves. Case in point: When the quintet (Jeff Hanna, Jim Ibbotson, Bob Carpenter, Jimmie Fadden and John McEuen) recently opened for Charlie Daniels at the Cerritos Center For The Performing Arts - a venue no more than a stone's throw from this band's Long Beach, Cal. origins - these veterans weren't even  ...

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