Dirt Band (Fra)


aec.mgif1982262.2 7/12/01 New

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Review Text Shortly after compiling the retrospective Dirt, Silver & Gold, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was shrunk to a trio of Jeff Hanna, John McEuen, and Jimmie Fadden, who seized the opportunity to draft in new members and take a stab at the commercial country-rock of their Californian brethren. Sensing that this was the start of a new era, they also decided to lop off "Nitty Gritty" from their name, which was appropriate, since as 1978's The Dirt Band illustrated, they were no longer nitty nor gritty. They were a smooth, slick outfit with an eye on the charts. Occasionally, they hauled out banjos for an instrumental jam, but this was a mellow soft rock record, and as such, it was excoriated by their fans who cherished the group's freewheeling roots music, something that already seems a distant memory due to polish of this music. And, it's true -- anybody looking for something like Will the Circle Be Unbroken will be heartbroken. That said, The Dirt Band is really good within its chosen milieu, stumbling only when it tries to hearken back to the group's nitty, gritty roots. The production is sleek and stylish, perfectly suiting mid-tempo songs like "In for the Night," "For a Little While," and "Whoa Babe" as well as softer ballads like "Wild Nights," "Escaping Reality," and the lovely "You Can't Stop Loving Me Now." These are all attributes that will not matter to those appalled that the band took this detour in the late '70s, but to those who like Californian soft rock, this, and its successor American Dream, are overlooked minor gems. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. In for the Night - 4:31
  2. 2. Wild Nights - 3:19
  3. 3. For a Little While - 3:14
  4. 4. Lights - 4:03
  5. 5. Escaping Reality - 4:38
  6. 6. Whoa Babe - 3:19
  7. 7. White Russia - 3:50
  8. 8. Can't Stop Loving Me Now - 4:51
  9. 9. On the Loose - 4:54
  10. 10. Angel - 4:07

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