Ever since John McEuen founded the well-known country-rock act the Nitty Gritty band in 1966, he hasn’t stopped creating music. McEeun will bring his guitar, fiddle, banjo, and mandolin to the Foothills Event Center next Saturday night, where he’ll play decade’s worth of his bluegrass and country hits. Often referred to as ‘the String Wizard,’ he weaves stories of his travels and family life, taking us through where his musical path has taken him. This concert is presented as part of The Center for the Arts’ curated “OnTheGo” concert series, appearing in various venues throughout Nevada County during Center for the Arts renovations.
When the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band released “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” the epic triple album did the impossible, leaping across generations and genres to unite rock fans with those of country and bluegrass. The album, released in 1972, brought together the old and the young, hippies and rednecks. McEuen’s current show is a multimedia production that shares about his eventful musical history, with a particular emphasis on “Circle.”
“(The show) is a look back and a look ahead,” says McEuen. “I like playing wherever people come to see me. It doesn’t matter the size. It’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was 17 — go on stage anywhere and play.”
McEuen has made over 40 albums (7 solo ones), which have earned four platinum and five gold recognition awards, CMA and ACM awards, Grammy nominations, IBMA record of the year award, and an Emmy nomination. He’s also produced another seven albums, 14 film scores (two Emmy nominated shows), and has appeared more than 300 concerts during the span of his career.
In the self-produced video below, McEuen shares, “We’re gonna tell the story of the ‘Circle’ album and the early Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. You might recognize some of [the band members.] One of them is Matt Cartsonis. You may have seen him during his years with Warren Zevon. And two Nitty Gritty Dirt band members, fellow founding member Les Thompson and John Cable. Cable was with us when we became the first American band to tour Russia: 28 sold out shows! With special songs from the ‘Circle’ album, we’ll tell you that ‘behind the curtain’ story from then until now…We’re going to be talking about and playing music from the Ken Burns documentary too. I’ll bring a guitar, mandolin, banjo, and fiddle, and we’re going to have a good time.”
Know & Go
Who: John McEuen, an American folk musician and producer and his band, The String Wizards
What: Center for the Arts OnTheGo Concert
When: Saturday, January 25, 2020
Doors open at 7:00 pm, show begins at 8:00 pm
Where: The Foothills Event Center, 400 Idaho-Maryland Road in Grass Valley, California
Cost: $35 for Center of the Arts members
$65 Premium Box Seats
“Don’t miss it!” McEuen enthuses. “We’re not going to; there’s so many notes and so little time. We’ll take you on this whole journey with our favorite Nitty Gritty Dirt Band music and the stories behind it all. Also, we cover that special time when three generations converged in Nashville to create the landmark ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken’ album. It’s now in the Library of Congress and the Grammy Hall of Fame.”