CLASS ACT - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band brings their collection of hits to the Memorial Centre on Oct. 10th. photo submitted

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band bring their famous tunes to Red Deer

The band plays the Memorial Central Oct. 10th

Local fans of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will soon have a chance to enjoy the guys’ legendary hits plus a sampling of their extraordinary work produced over the past five decades.

They perform at the Memorial Centre Auditorium on Oct. 10th. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

So far, 2017 has been a huge year for the band which earlier this year announced the Canadian leg of their 50-year Anniversary Tour. “We are really proud and grateful and astounded that we’ve been able to do this for so long,” explained singer/guitarist/one of the band’s founders Jeff Hanna during a recent interview.

“The shock hasn’t worn off yet,” he added with a laugh. “We’re proud of the fact we’ve been doing this for 50 years, but again, we are grateful that we’ve gotten to do it that long.”

It’s been a fabulous season for the band, which, this past January, won a Midsouth Regional EMMY® for the PBS airing of a 2015 sold-out show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

And then in February, the band released a 21-track greatest hits album titled Fishin’ in the Dark (Rhino Records).

The release includes the band’s biggest hits on both country and pop radio (Mr. Bojangles, Dance Little Jean, Fishin’ in the Dark and more), along with many fan-favourites (Cadillac Ranch and Ripplin’ Waters).

Speaking of Fishin’ in the Dark, that tune has a lasting quality to it that is stunning – it sounds as fresh and slick today as it did when it first hit the airwaves some 30 years ago.

“I’ve got to say that Josh Leo, who produced that album (Hold On), did a great job – sonically it holds up to something that could have been released last week on the radio,” he explained.

“That was an interesting moment for us – sort a turning point as far the band went. The fan base kind of got younger,” he said, reflecting on the legacy of Fishin’ in the Dark. “Our fans that had been with us for 20 years up to that point liked it too, so it worked out well!”

He recalls how excited the guys were to release that particular tune – they knew they had something special on their hands.

“If we could have put out the demo, we would have,” he laughed. “One of the things about the material we choose to record over the years is that we’ve written 50 to 60 per cent of it – the songs that have been on the radio for example.

“Also, if we can fine a song that just feels like a great tune that just fits like a glove, you know. Well, Fishin’ was a great example of that. We could play the heck out of that song. Again, when Josh brought us the demo, we were like – that’s perfect! That’s the perfect Dirt Band song.”

Ultimately, it was the band’s third number-one single on the U.S. country music charts and the second in Canada.

Looking back to their earlier years, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band helped lead the charge mixing elements of country, bluegrass, folk, mountain music, and rock and roll into a sound that celebrated the full range of American music.

Released in 1972 – just six years after the group formed in Southern California – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken still stands as one of the most beloved albums in the country catalog, pairing the young band with legends like Roy Acuff, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, and Mother Maybelle Carter.

Many decades have passed since that album’s release, with the members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band now enjoying their own legendary status.

Hanna also reflected on another defining tune that came along a few years later – Mr. Bojangles. “We did not think it was necessarily a hit song – we just thought it was a great song,” he said.

“To be honest, we thought it was a great album cut – a great piece of art.” Well, the song proved a major hit back in 1971.

“Our thing, when we are making records, or when we are doing our concerts, is that we want to present folks with a variety of emotions. If it touches you in some way, that’s equally great.”

As we know, music often reminds us of particular times in our lives.

“When people reference our music in that way, it’s really humbling because I know how I feel as a music fan, and how much music and various tunes have mattered in my life, whether it’s been to get me through some hard times or putting me in a great mood to celebrate. Music is a wonderful tonic.”

For ticket information, visit www.blackknightinn.ca.

Just Posted

Lacombe County celebrates official opening of the Kuhnen Natural Area

Long-time residents Frank and Rosalie Kuhnen generously donated this land to Lacombe County

Lacombe Birthplace Forest grows by 5 in 2019

Urban forest recognizes newborns in the community

ATCO gas line work in Lacombe

Lane Closures at the Highway 12/50 Avenue & 58 Street intersection

WATCH: Blackfalds Days Parade takes over community

Floats from all over central Alberta wows crowd

PHOTO: Petvalu donates to Paws and Claws Animal Rescue

$10,782 donated to help animals in central Alberta

WATCH: Blackfalds Days Parade takes over community

Floats from all over central Alberta wows crowd

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

High Level on alert, as wildfires put more people on the run in northern Alberta

Thousands in High Level were just allowed back home, and now must get ready to leave again

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Two people arrested after Wetaskiwin vehicle theft

Wetaskiwin RCMP respond to theft of motor vehicle

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

UPDATE: Two shot, two arrested at Toronto Raptors victory rally

The team and several dignitaries, including Justin Trudeau, remained on stage

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Most Read