nice sound, and I catched some good moments but I'll be damned if I got to listen to 2 straight hours of country
Will the Circle be Unbroken is the seventh album by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, with collaboration from many famous bluegrass and country-western players, including Roy Acuff, "Mother" Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Merle Travis, Pete "Oswald" Kirby, Norman Blake, Jimmy Martin, and others. It also introduced fiddler Vassar Clements to a wider audience.
nice sound, and I catched some good moments but I'll be damned if I got to listen to 2 straight hours of country
This album is a less a coherent musical statement and more of a document. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band reached across generational lines to unite some of the greatest bluegrass and country players and singers. This album is a celebration of an unbroken chain of American folk music and introduced a new generation to this music stewarded by the then contemporary Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. This album is joyous, and just by the sheer amount of legends included (Doc Watson, Mother Maybelle Carter, and Earl Scruggs to name a few) contains so many incredible moments that it is impossible gauge the significance of this album.
Fucking love this. Makes me wanna get a horse
3.3 - Music for a lazy sunny Saturday afternoon. You’ve just finished mowing the lawn and you’re lounging in your favorite patio chair. You crack the first beer of the day from your icy cooler, and you fire up the radio that’s set to NPR. This music is spinning - it’s not your first choice - but at the moment you’re feeling fine so you think “screw it” and let it play. You kick up your feet, close your eyes to the sun and think about that handjob the missus promised you later.
This is a classic, milestone album in bluegrass/country music. It features an all-star, legendary cast of characters that were legends in their own right, and that have now gone on to meet their reward. It is so great to be able to not only hear these musicians like Roy Acuff, Mother Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, and Earl Scruggs sing and play, but also include is some of their conversations from the recording sessions.
There was this conflict between the old and young generations, this break up, the young ones who were losing contact with the tradition and the old ones who refused with this young longhaired boys and girls and then the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band had the idea of bringing this two generations together on a sort of "jam-record" and this is the result. Wonderful things you can hear on this record and you will discover great names: Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Merle Travis, Roy Acuff, Vassar Clements.
I love Bluegrass/Old-school country, and this album is a treat. Lots of standards on here and some fun behind-the-scenes tracks. I would rate this a 5 except for its INSANE length. This is just too much music. Is there such a thing? Yes.
Great collection of classic country and blue grass with snip-bits of conversation between artists during production. Carried the feeling of a documentary of a old time jam session among some great musicians. Very long listen and took me a while to get though but interesting nonetheless.
What an incredible collection! Like walking through a history of bluegrass museum. 5/5. 10/5 really. My first 5 star rating-and of course it's bluegrass, surprise! But those guests??!!! What an incredible effort!!
holy cow...this was another snapshot of its time, and it's honestly from an era i didn't love...but i do love this album. the music was great, of course, but also just hearing the friendship among these folks in between takes - that was fantastic.
Two hours of absolute pinnacles of talent. Kind of a lot all at once, but what a treat.
"Every time you do it again you lose something" - said of retakes in the studio Pure wisdom. Pure gold in music form.
Where has this been my entire life? I don't listen to bluegrass often, but now I know where to find (a lot of) it when I want it. I liked the mix of sung and instrumental songs and the included conversations. It's amazing how tight the takes are, considering the complexity of the music and the number of contributors, but these are talented people after all.
Loved it. Loved the talking in between tracks, unreal musicians
Classic bluegrass with legends of the time. A great adventure through classic bluegrass tunes. Enjoyed it way more than I thought I would.
When I saw that I would be listening to a two hour long country bluegrass record today, admittedly I dreaded for the worst. However, to my surprise, I enjoyed this listen quite a bit, at least with an intermission break included midway. I had forgotten how fun bluegrass music can be, and this album proved that by a mile and a half. Not all of the tracks stick, but I enjoyed the vibe of this album enough to stick the whole way through. Favorites: "Nashville Blues", "Tenessee Stud", "Will The Circle Be Unbroken"
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band somehow got a bunch of legends from the previous generation to sit down with them and make an album that bridges the gap. Incredible to listen to. I like the interludes, but they got to be a bit much toward the end. Volume 2 should absolutely be on this list. Best track: Foggy Mountain Breakdown
This album is quite the power house of folk and old-timey musicians. Some of my favorites who appear on this album are Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Vassar Clements, Norman Blake, and of course John McEuen from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (NGDB) itself. I have listened to this album once or twice before, shortly after seeing McEuen live in concert (great show) and close to the time of his return to the NGDB (~2001 or 2002). At the time, I had heard some of the music from NGDB from the 80s, but not their older work or their music that is more closely tied to old-timey music. In addition to classic musicians, this album is full of some classic standards as well. I favor the instrumental tracks in general, but it's not like I don't like the tracks with vocals. For example, I'm ready to hear Doc Watson sing any time he likes (I've seen him in concert too). "Tennessee Stud", "Cannonball Rag", "Earl's Breakdown", "Orange Blossom Special", "Flint Hill Special", "I am a Pilgrim", "Soldiers Joy" and several others are competing as favorites. (It doesn't help when there are so many tracks on the album.) With such a long album it can be harder to listen to the whole thing at once, but I imagine myself re-visiting this album to soak up some of this cultural experience again.
If you watch Ken Burns' documentary series on country music (I highly recommend it), you know that the song "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" is used as a trope for the bonds of tradition and musical heritage that get passed from generation to generation. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band gets featured notably in that documentary because of their efforts to keep that bond going, through their collaborations with other artists. This album is a document of that bond, the partnership between the living legends of country/bluegrass with the next generation. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band were viewed somewhat as a group of long-haired interlopers at a time when traditional country music was out of fashion. In playing this music, they were essentially what we might consider to be hipsters today. But the band's musical chops were for real, and their love of roots country and bluegrass was indisputable. Bringing together this group of musicians was an impressive feat and the resulting recordings are a delight to hear. I imagine it's not to everyone's taste, and 2 hours is a lot for any album. But it's as important an album as you will ever hear in roots music. It's also just a lot of fun. I suggest listening to disc 1 and disc 2 separately with a break in between. My goodness, musically this album is so tight. Across the board, everything is effortlessly perfect, from guitars to banjo to fiddle. Some of the best and most revered artists in early country music participated in this effort, including Roy Acuff, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs and Mother Maybelle Carter. Many of the songs are considered to be standards in the genre today. This music is earthy and joyful, equal parts plucky and heartfelt. The little bits of chatter between songs add a live vibe and sense of community that is foundational to country music. If there was ever an album that belonged on 1001 Albums, it's this one. Fave Songs: Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Nashville Blues, Sunny Side of the Mountain, Wabash Cannonball, Both Sides Now, You Are My Flower, I Saw the Light, Lonesome Fiddle Blues, The End of the World, Black Mountain Rag, Flint Hill Special, Soldier's Joy, Orange Blossom Special, Cannonball Rag, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Lost Highway
It may be just stolkholm syndrome, but I loved it. If it weren't for the Confederate flag on the cover I could see myself putting it on! Loved the feel of being in the studio with them like a really intimate concert. Love the bass, love the banjo, love the fiddle. Top marks minus one for the hate symbol
This gets off to a good start with the Grand Ole Opry Song. A lot of the tracks immediately following are well-worn standards and I'm not a fan of "covers" as I've said before. That said, I love the fiddle & harmonica laced version of Tennessee Stud. Letting Jimmy Martin sing lead on a bunch of songs was a good idea, he's got a twangy hurtin' country voice. Merle Travis is a bit light. It was certainly a historic occasion to revitalize the careers of these over-the-hill cowboy red-necks by throwing them in the same studio with a bunch of hippies from Long Beach. The jury’s out on the between-song banter. If it worked well everyone would be doing it.
Too many songs and please edit out the chat. GBH of the ears Fun songs though
Unnecessarily long but somewhat troll
I mean if you call yourself the nitty gritty dirt band and make a 100 minute long country album you’re bound to not be that good… The album opens with Grand ole orpy song it’s a very American country song and I hate this kinda thing but I guess its nice how the lyrics are kinda introducing them as a band. Keep on the sunny side starts off strange with just lots of talking the main song is again just boring creepy old American country. Nashville blues is a short little instrumental it’s good in the sense that I liked the picking on the track but I still wasn’t a fan. You are my flower was very bland. The precious jewel has this really dreary sound to it the best bit about this song was the talking at the start. Dark as a dungeon is easily forgettable to be honest. Tennessee stud is dreadful but if I were to choose one that was passable than this may be the one. Black mountain rag is just a dumb little instrumental piece nothing special here. Wreck on the highway wasn’t brilliant I especially didn’t like the singing here. For a song called the end of the world I thought it would be cool but no it’s just an instrumental. I actually don’t tend to dislike music with religious themes but I saw the light wasn’t good. The sunny side of the mountain wasn’t all too special but I guess it wasn’t that despicable of a song. Nine pound hammer is just bland and non can’t say much here. Losing you ( might be the best thing yet) might be the best thing yet the lyrics aren’t that bad just get rid of the country instrumentals. Honky tonkin is dumb but inoffensive. You don’t mind wasn’t that good just forgettable country music same with my walking shoes. Disk 1 done I didn’t like this at all currently 1/5 and unless if disk 2 is like the best thing ever this will not change. Lonesome fiddle blues starts off disk 2 it’s a decent instrumental track the fiddle playing is perfectly fine and there’s no creepy wooden country singing so that’s a bonus. Cannonball rag is also not dreadful just a bunch of guitar picking. Avalanche is ANOTHER instrumental and still not horrible ( sounds like they’re desperately wanting me to boost their album rating) ( and you’re not gonna do that with instrumentals). Oh my god not again 🙄 ANOTHER FUCKING INSTRUMENTAL flint hill special wasn’t dreadful though. Okay so until there is some singing i’am just going to make a list of the numerous instrumentals that don’t help an already boring album: Togary mountain Earl’s breakdown Orange blossom special Wabash cannonball Oh okay lost highway has vocals well done you learned to sing again, but wait you can’t sing so please shut up and try to end this dam album! Nope seems to be the answer to that request and now we have doc watson and merle travis: first meeting which was a wired little interlude about a coal mines album or something? Way downtown was an alright country tune but I don’t like it. Down yonder has some nice enough clicking noises but still I don’t like it. Pins and needles ( in my heart), well I kinda wish I had pins and needles instead of enduring your song but here we are. Honky tonk blues was just dumb like the other honky tonky song earlier. Sailing on to Hawaii was a nice enough relaxed little instrumental that ( unlike the ones) earlier did serve a purpose. I’m thinking of my blue eyes wasn’t good I especially didn’t like the backing singing where they all sound bored with this album. I am a pilgrim was just dull ( I know I said that for another song but this really is). Wildwood flower wasn’t brilliant and honestly really forgettable. Soliders Joy was an instrumental that started with talking ( not like I’ve herd stuff like that 100 times in this album). We’re FINALLY at the penultimate track wll the circle be broken and that creepy “ mother” carter woman just sounds bored and the backing singers make it even more boring and creepy. Both sides now ends the album on a dull instrumental. Country music to me is the musical equivalent of biting into a large chunk of wood (horrible even after you’ve bitten into it) and I’ve always found oldie groups like the Carter family really creepy so to have the “ mother” woman as a frequent collaborator wasn’t my cup of tea. Also when your favourite track on an album is one of numerous short instrumental tracks you know that it’s not a good album . I guess it was fun to make fun of but I would still rather burn to death than hear this or anything by the nitty gritty dirt band again.
42 punishingly mundane 'Murica audio experiences I want to forget sooner rather than later
Maybe I’m in the wrong list
Amazing album classic country. Love hearing classic Nashville. Great guitar
Holy Moly this is basically 2 albums. I love Nashville Blues. Tennessee Stud is another great song. Nine Pound Hammer, Tennessee Stud, Black Mountain Rag all kick ass. Though just the length of this double album is a workout; 2 hours is a lot of fecking bluegrass.
Really liked it, haven't heard them before
The July aitee aliens had pretty good taste in music; too bad they weren't real. But seriously, the tunes on this album are great, the players are very good at their instruments, and the topics of the lyrics are diverse.
I remember seeing the name of this band growing up and assumed it was some kind of country supergroup. And I suppose it is, but as far as this outing is concerned I can attach no negative connotation. Circle is a recording which earns its length in context: We got at least this much on tape, and these LPs are what you get. This is an album that lets me fully lean into my string-weakness. But the instrumentation switches up subtly throughout the runtime as the vocals occasionally drop out. To my ear, top-notch bluegrass playing.
E ovo nikad nisam sluša 😊
An excellent two hour album
first listen I don't think there's a bad song on this record
Tres bon mais tellement long ahah il faut aime le banjo country etc. Ca sonne bien et les chansons sont belle mais 2h00 lol c’est un peu too muchpour moi. Tout de meme le facteur eeeute est tres frter je geux m’en souvenir lorsque j’aurai envie de country. 4.95
Really good versions of really old songs. Reading the story behind it was cool too - a kind of hands across the generational divide type of project. Was cool to hear songs that some of my favourite acts (Johnny Cash, Elvis etc) would have listened to growing up. Surprised how many of the songs I knew - there's even one that Jeff Buckley recorded!
This album is the musical definition of Stockholm Syndrome. I had a blast … or did I?
When I finished, I found a yearning for country roads
My parents are big Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fans, so I was happy to see them here. But this is a truly unusual album that I had not listened to. The deep old-school country guests and performances on this are remarkable. Incredible fiddling! Great harmonica! Really stellar performances of a lot of old classics. The candid moments before a lot of the performances were fascinating, charming and really added to the experience. I loved this from beginning to end. Really impressive to think that a young hippy country band in the early 1970s had the wherewithal to embark on such an ambitious project! I’m very glad its importance was highlighted by the 1001 folks.
Wow! This is a lot of impressive music. A wonderful change of pace. I loved the interstitials that caught the musicians talking. That really added to the homey cozy feeling. Loved it.
This was a wonderful album! A little nitty and a little gritty and a whole lotta collaboration. I agree that this album belongs on this list!
What an amazing project this was! So much fun to hear these musicians play with such joy.
This is another formative record for me. I was spinning it over the weekend and discovered I had 2 copies. Growing up it was on around our house quite a lot and I know it by heart. I learn to play guitar with a ton of these songs. It's an exercise in nostalgia for me, but I'm not sure whether I can actually assess the music on the record with any sort of perspective. The Band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Willie Nelson, etc are just so deeply ingrained into my psyche. That being said, the musicianship on this record is pretty amazing. I mean, the list on the left hand side of the cover is ridiculous: Watson, Scruggs, Carter, Martin, Vassar Clements, etc. It's a veritable who's who in the world of bluegrass, country, and folk music. This just feels like a picking party after a wedding and I'm not sure that's not my version of heaven. Lots of folks in and out, the conversations before and after tunes, classic and standard tunes, great harmonies, fierce picking... My bluegrass heart never had a chance.
So this is like an all-star country and western band? Blending old stars and younger upstarts, and to a European ear, this is great! So much history and storytelling, I can see why this is such a historic album. Definitely a must listen.
This feels like a staple bluegrass album, which is so rare to me I think it moves the needle to low 5.
Not every song was a hit... but god damn. The concept of the old heads playing with the new blood, the studio chatter, the rawness, the sheer talent and variety here all made up for it.
An astounding portrait of American country music, Will the Circle Be Unbroken is a true love letter to a bygone era. The amount of talent on display here is hard not to appreciate, even from Country music haters. I loved the personal touch of having conversations play out before and after songs at times, giving a real sense of the craftsmanship these members are capable of delivering. It also just sounds great. This recording is impeccable, and there isn’t a single note lost in the shuffle, no matter how many instruments are being played together. Beautiful music, from a simpler time.
This is a lot of fun to listen to, and it's got a lot of replayability. I guess that old-time sound is still alive and well! 5/5
Not so much a commercial album as an anthropology project.
Non stop bangers!
I could have cried when album was generated. Over two hours long and bluegrass. I haven’t listened to much bluegrass before, but my brain associates it with country music, and two hours of that is a hard sell. I’ll try to keep as open a mind as possible, but this feels like it will be a rough day. Songs I already knew: none Favourites: Keep On The Sunny Side, Lonesome Fiddle Blues, Foggy Mountain Breakdown It’s hard to say how much of this review is biased by the fact that my knowledge of bluegrass is so limited, but this was incredible! Growing up, people that could shred in rock/metal bands were, at least in my head, the best of the best guitar players. But have you heard bluegrass?! This musicianship is on a whole other level! The banjo, guitar, and fiddle/violin players must be from another planet as they are amazing. I also enjoyed the extra tracks where it sounded like the band were prepping for a song. It made it feel like a bunch of friends having fun together, which probably amplified the fun I felt too. Despite the album length, I didn’t want this to end.
A gargantuan undertaking of the impact and influence that country music had on the outside observants that made up the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and how it wound up being more realized than anyone had anticipated, with its perceptions for the audience being both of the fly on the wall and in front row, with the participants speaking and going over songs before it being played. Whether downed in one gulp or taken in piece by piece, Will the Circle Be Unbroken remains an essential part of the country music puzzle. *Album generated on 7/4/23, reviewed on 7/9/23*
An extremely important American musical document that also happens to be just a good old time. I knew about this from the great Ken Burns Country Music documentary but I've never actually sat down a listened to it until today, I'm glad I had the day off and I'm glad I listened because it's great. This was followed by a couple of sequels over the years and now I wanna check those out too.
Absolute belter, I loved it. Definitely gonna listen to this again. Great stuff
When I saw the 2 hour length, the confederate flags on the cover, and didn't see fishing in the dark anywhere on the track listing I was extremely pessimistic going into this album. Against all odds, however, this album rocked. While I wouldn't ever listen to it in one sitting again, nearly every track was at least good and most of them were exemplary nashville country/folk. I loved all of the first disc and most of the second disk, with tracks like the title track, the first two tracks, losin' you, I'm thinking tonight of my blue eyes, plus many more being the biggest standouts. Apparently, the nitty gritty dirt band was attempting to unite multiple generations of Tennessee country and essentially make an Avengers of country music; it's amazing that the result was this successful and sustainable for a two hour album. You really do get the vibe that every song is a showcase of one or two out of like 20 artists performing out of their mind and working together seamlessly.
Gospel. I could listen to this every day.
This album hit close to home. My grandfather loved this era of country music and it would always be playing when we went to his house. He unfortunately passed away a little over a year ago, and my daughter was born exactly a week later. He never got to meet her, but her and I got to dance and listen to his favorite music together. I'm not a spiritual person, but I feel like there will always be a part of him somewhere with her, and we will always keep his memory alive
This is perhaps exorbitantly long. But hot damn this is great stuff. Excellent blue grass and the captured moments of dialog make you feel like you’re in the studio. Love it.
While this isn't an album you'll listen to over and over it's an absolute perfect pick for this list. It's a history lesson in record form. The execution of this album is amazing, from the song choices, to the musicians and the recording. Let's not forget the banter, which is really what makes this album just wonderful, I particularly love hearing Maybelle Carter.
Straight up do not care, this album is a toe tapper from start to finish. I wouldn't even class myself as a fan of the genre, and yeah, 2 hours might be a little on the long side, but it sounds like everybody was having fun making this album and I had a good time listening
Listened to half the album, surprised by how much I liked the yeehaw. Will Deff finish the other half soon.
My dad would probably like this album. Probably does. It has "Keep on the Sunny Side" on it. I'm bout to cry, dude. He loves that song. The end of the album had several songs that sounded like they should be on "Banjo Boogie Bonanza" from Parks and Rec and I had to turn it off. But overall I enjoyed the album.
Fine country music.
Not sure if covers or original songs, but feel like an influential country/folk album
My kind of country
This is great. It's a bit long, when I usually like my bluegrass and country in smaller doses, but I love this. Love the little snippets of dialog as well, it's a cool added touch. 4 stars.
Good blue grass compilation
Un poco largo
A great primer on bluegrass and early country music.
canonical old school country. lovely between-song interludes. mixing is clean, but the songs still have a wistful air to 'em. At 2 hours, this is a bit long though...
Love me some country.
Nitty Gritty are ne of my favourite bands of this time
Kind of just a good time :)
What an unexpected pleasure. A real treasure trove of wonderful music, brilliantly played.
28. Senhores passageiros, muita atenção à passagem de um comboio sem paragem na linha número vinte e oito com destino a Nashville o comboio interestadual precedente do norte profundo com carvão e contentores de toda a espécie informamos que a circulação neste comboio é proibida nos termos da lei disposta sim estou a falar contigo joe tolerei os primeiros quilómetros mas vamos passar a fronteira para o tennessee e aqui já não te consigo proteger da ira desmedida dos oficiais toca o que quiseres que eles não vão na tua música querem lá saber do que foges voltas recambiado no primeiro vagão da manhã eles já me conhecem posso tentar que não revistem o vagão das hortaliças mas é desse que eles mais gostam o salário de um polícia honrado não dá para o sustento nesta terra estéril vai joe ao pé das beterrabas indigestas eles já aprenderam a lição há coisas que não são feitas para crescer a norte do mississippi como tu joe como o teu corpo franzino para as minas como tu joe como o teu sonho honesto de um dia servir os viajantes à beira da estrada trocar o polegar pela espátula despir a jaqueta pelo avental e virar a cada três minutos porra joe porra porquê nesse vagão senhores passageiros o comboio sete três dois parado na linha vinte e oito com destino a nashville ficará na estação por ordem dos marshalls federais na linha não efetua serviço de passageiros senhora senhora afaste-se do corpo na linha por favor nada para ver aqui se procura os comboios com destino a el paso por favor dirija-se às linhas dez e quinze porra joe porquê resistir a todos lamentamos o incómodo causado MotA: You Are My Flower "Come and listen to my story, if you will, I'm gonna tell / About a gang of fellers from down at Nashville"
I'm not a country music guy but I liked this quite a bit. I can see how it was a breakthrough for traditional country music to a mainstream, non-traditional audience. And the musicianship is amazing. 4 🌟
I'm not normally a bluegrass fan but I do love Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Plus this album is mostly instrumental so only a few songs have vocalists. I found myself tapping my toes quite a bit.
Surprisingly good, added to my collection.
Feel good music for a time when keeping on the sunny side is more and more difficult every day. I needed this.
Super folky, good banjo fiddle action.
historical piece of music. glad to get to know mother maybelle and the greats thru this record
Great musicianship with some good classic songs. Too lengthy however.
It makes me feel like living in a trailer park
Arquetipo perfecto de lo que se te viene a la cabeza cuando alguien dice la palabra "country" en voz alta. Aquí huele a mecedora con viejo vaquero mordisqueando una pajita y abrazando el rifle sobre sus piernas. Predominan el banjo y el violín y el olor a prado lleno de reses. Lo lastra la duración, lo vuelve algo pesado
There were times when I really enjoyed this album, and there were times when I wondered how I was going to make it through the entire thing. A double album seems like a bit much, as usual, though I understand it more in this case. This album was meant to be a union of two generations of country and bluegrass musicians. Overall it works, though I wish there was less banter between the songs. I don't see myself coming back to this album, nor, for that matter, finishing it (I'm currently on track 7 of 42). 4/5
Great bluegrass, really enjoyed it
This feels like typical bluegrass but the execution is pretty amazing. The album is way too long, but in small doses this is a pretty good time.
I'm probably rating this higher because I'm so tired of New Wave, 70s, and seemingly random choices on here. Still, it's a great album to play in the background on any lazy weekend.
Whyyyy is this so long
9th June 2022 Listened upstairs at mum and dads while working on stats for the hub. Big one! Didn’t know about this but it’s clearly a classic country behemoth. The reverence for country and the precision of the playing is astonishing.
YEEEEEHAW! Even if you don't like 'country' music, I challenge you not to get toe-tapping and slapping your thigh with a yeehaw, yawl! A great bit of fun for a Friday afternoon.