Friday, August 25, 2017

Clickin' Heels with The NGDB!

~ Emmet Otter's Jug Band * Yahoo Images

Here we are, back in Rockabilly land, where we welcome all genres of Rockabilly, Country, and Blues!  And, just to be clear, I also love a little Rock n Roll, and a lot of Soul music too!  

In July, we celebrated the 70th birthday one of our favorite American singer-songwriter's, Jeff Hanna!  Yes, that's the one, alright!  Jeff is one of the founders of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the longest surviving member of the group!  Having journeyed with his family from Detroit, Michigan to Long Beach, California when he was just a boy, Jeff formed a 'jug band' in the mid 1960's.  Hanna has done everything from writing and producing, to singing and playing a variety of instruments!

~ The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band * Jeff Hanna, sitting far left * Yahoo Images

In a 2011 interview with Paul Freeman of PopCultureClassics, Jeff states, "When we started, we were surrounded by surf bands like "The Birds", and, "The Lovin Spoonful"  He called his group, "Jug Puppies", with a blend of folk, rock and country.  The group's focus was to bring some of the earlier hit songs of Jerry Jeff Walker, Kenny Loggins, and Michael Nesmith back to the forefront.  NGDB   would hang out at McCabe's Guitar Store in Southern California, Long Beach, to be specific.
Not only could you purchase guitars and other instruments at McCabe's, there were guitar lessons available, and concerts performed!

~yahoo images

The NGDB was known to sit in recording sessions with some of the elders of Blues and Country music.  With assistance from the wonderful Mother Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs, and some really great musicians, the album Will the Circle Be Unbroken has gone GOLD.  Sounds like an odd venue, doesn't it!   In essence, the "elders" actually paved the way for up and coming artists to ease into the industry!  I, for one, am so proud to see the collaborations between different musicians who come together and give the world the best of their talents!

~Mother Maybelle Carter and Jeff Hanna * Yahoo Images

When Paul Freeman of PopCultureClassics asked how the band came across "Mr. Bojangles", Hanna explained that while flipping through radio stations, he happened to hear the last two verses of the song .  He didn't hear the title, and mentioned it the next day in rehearsal.  One of the band members had heard the song before, and "that's all she wrote"!  "Mr. Bojangles, written by Jerry Jeff Walker in 1968 for his own album, peaked at number 9 for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
on the US Hit 100 chart in 1971!


OK...I wasn't going to do this, but I couldn't help myself!
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, performing Mr. Bojangles in (1991, I think)

~ From Youtube
Didn't you just love it?  And, did you get that drummer...he plays the harmonica at the same time that he's drumming!  And, Hanna has said that the drummer also reads Popular Mechanics at the same time, while he's playing!  It is such a treat to watch these talented guys in action!

I have come to appreciate certain artists that I knew of, but, did not follow in my younger years.  Now, when I come by one of those artists or groups, I spend more time checking out their repertoire.  Most of the time I find that I have heard a lot of their work, but, just didn't recognize it.  I spent some time listening to a few of the NGDB's songs, and found that I really like their style!  "Catfish John" with Alison Krauss is a really good song, along with "Fishin' In The Dark".  Great music and vocals on both!  "Just a Modern Day Romance"  is also top on my list of NGDB tunes, with a really great Country dance beat.  Jeff Hannah and the NGDB have performed with Linda Ronstadt, EmmyLou Harris, the Cash's-June and Johnny, and even little Hannah Montana!

On their 50th anniversary, the Nitty Gritty Dirt band performed with Jerry Jeff Walker, and, Jackson Browne, who was an early member of the group, and, Vince Gill.  The celebration was held at the Ryman Auditorium at Nashville in July of 2015.  How exciting was that?

~50th Anniversary celebration at the Ryman Auditorium

Well, Rockabilly fans, I'm sorry to say that it is last call here at Rock A Billy Rock headquarters.
For tonite, that is! 😎

Before the finale, I would like to take this time to thank:
Wikipedia, popculture,,,
Thank you Blogger, Youtube, Yahoo Images, Google

*** And many thank yous out to my gracious readers...I love it that you stopped by for a visit.  Let's say a special prayer for the folks along the Texas coast in the path of Hurricane Harvey.  I know the authorities are working hard to get these people to safety.  Please get out of town and be safe! ♥

Stop in and say hello.  If you are too shy to speak, please give me a sign by checking one of the reactions at the bottom of this post.  No names required! The choices are:
Interesting, Funny, or Cool

Best wishes for a great school year to all students!

And, now...

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, with Bernie Leadon on lead guitar
1987 hit on live TV

***  See you next time, dear friends!