Today is the release date for “Speed Of Life” (NGDB Records) from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, their first studio album in five years. Since before there was such a thing, these country-bluegrass-roots-folkies have had a profound influnce on the Americana music scene. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band formed in Southern California during the spring of 1966 as a scruffy young jug band. In high school I remember listening intently to their epic 1972 collaboration “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” which introduced me to some of my biggest musical influences, including the Carter Family, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, and Jimmy Martin.
The new record does not disappoint. God, if only top-40 country was half this good! The material is strong and wide-ranging, the arrangements folky and dynamic, the production perfect. I hope you agree. Here’s the title track.