Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two

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Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two
Circle II album cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 1, 1989 (1989-05-01)
RecordedDecember, 1988 and January, 1989
Scruggs Studio
Nashville, Tennessee
Genre Neotraditional Country
Country Folk
Bluegrass
Gospel
Length62:19
Label Universal
Producer Randy Scruggs
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band chronology
Workin' Band
(1988)
Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two
(1989)
The Rest Of The Dream
(1991)

Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two (also Circle II) is a 1989 album by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The album follows the same concept as the band's 1972 album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken , which featured guest performances from many notable country music stars.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band American band

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, an American country rock band, has existed in various forms since its founding in Long Beach, California, in 1966. The group's membership has had at least a dozen changes over the years, including a period from 1976 to 1981 when the band performed and recorded as the Dirt Band. Constant members since the early times are singer-guitarist Jeff Hanna and drummer Jimmie Fadden. Multi-instrumentalist John McEuen was with the band from 1966 to 1986 and returned during 2001, staying 16 years, then departing again in November 2017. Keyboardist Bob Carpenter joined the band in 1977. The band is often cited as instrumental to the progression of contemporary country and roots music.

<i>Will the Circle be Unbroken</i> (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album) album

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.

Country music, also known as country and western, and hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as folk music and blues.

Contents

Composition

Circle II features largely acoustic, bluegrass music instrumentation with a line-up of contemporary country music artists that includes Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Michael Martin Murphey and Ricky Skaggs. Returnees from the first Circle are bluegrass musician Jimmy Martin, banjoist Earl Scruggs, fiddler Vassar Clements and singer Roy Acuff.

Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music. It was named by Bill Monroe who named his band The Blue Grass Boys. The 1939–1996 band of Kentucky mandolin player and songwriter Bill Monroe, who is considered "the father of bluegrass". The Blue Grass Boys played a Mountain Music style that Bill learned in Asheville, North Carolina from bands like Wade Mainer's and other popular acts on radio station WWNC. It was further developed by musicians who played with him, including 5-string banjo player Earl Scruggs and guitarist Lester Flatt. It was then evolved by other musicians who admired the high-energy instrumental and vocal music Monroe's group created, and who carried it on into new bands, some of which created subgenres of bluegrass.

Johnny Cash American singer-songwriter and actor

Johnny Cash was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of being inducted into the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.

Rosanne Cash singer-songwriter from the United States

Rosanne Cash is an American singer-songwriter and author. She is the eldest daughter of country musician Johnny Cash and Vivian Liberto Cash Distin, Johnny Cash's first wife.

Other artists represent the rock, folk and pop genres, including Levon Helm from The Band, John Denver, John Prine, John Hiatt and Bruce Hornsby.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Folk music musical and poetic creativity of the people

Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.

Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.

Among the tracks is the Bob Dylan composition, "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere", sung as a duet by former members of The Byrds, Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, their first reunion in many years.

Bob Dylan American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and artist

Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for six decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war movement. His lyrics incorporated a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied existing conventions of popular music, and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture, such as on the six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" (1965).

"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1967 in Woodstock, New York, during the self-imposed exile from public appearances that followed his July 29, 1966 motorcycle accident. A recording of Dylan performing the song in September 1971 was released on the Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II album in November of that year, marking the first official release of the song by its author. An earlier 1967 recording of the song, performed by Dylan and the Band, was issued in 1975 on the album The Basement Tapes.

The Byrds American rock band

The Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple lineup changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the sole consistent member, until the group disbanded in 1973. Although they only managed to attain the huge commercial success of contemporaries like the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones for a short period in the mid-60s, the Byrds are today considered by critics to be nearly as influential as those bands. Their signature blend of clear harmony singing and McGuinn's jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar was immediately absorbed into the vocabulary of popular music and has continued to be influential up to the present day.

The roster of session musicians for the album included many notable performers, including fiddler Mark O'Connor, resonator guitarist Jerry Douglas, banjoist Béla Fleck, guitarist Chet Atkins and bassist Roy Huskey, Jr., son of bassist Junior Huskey, who had played on the first Circle. [1]

Session musician profession; musician hired to perform in recording sessions or live performances

Session musicians, studio musicians, or backing musicians are musicians hired to perform in recording sessions or live performances. Session musicians are usually not permanent members of a musical ensemble or band. They work behind the scenes and rarely achieve individual fame in their own right as soloists or bandleaders. However, top session musicians are well known within the music industry, and some have become publicly recognized, such as the Wrecking Crew and Motown's The Funk Brothers.

Mark OConnor American fiddle player

Mark O'Connor is an American violinist whose music combines bluegrass, country, jazz and classical music.

Resonator guitar

A resonator guitar or resophonic guitar is an acoustic guitar that produces sound by conducting string vibrations through the bridge to one or more spun metal cones (resonators), instead of to the guitar's sounding board (top). Resonator guitars were originally designed to be louder than regular acoustic guitars, which were overwhelmed by horns and percussion instruments in dance orchestras. They became prized for their distinctive tone, however, and found life with bluegrass music and the blues well after electric amplification solved the problem of inadequate volume.

Like the first Circle, the album features snippets of studio chatter. In the lead-in to John Denver's song, "And So It Goes", someone asks, "Is this practice?" Denver replies: "They're all practice."

In an intro to the song "Riding Alone", Emmylou Harris summed up her thoughts about relaxed atmosphere of the recording sessions, saying: "Years ago I had the experience of sitting around in a living room with a bunch of people and singing and playing, and it was like a spiritual experience, it was wonderful. And I decided then that was what I was going to do with my life was play music, do music. In the making of records, I think over the years we've all gotten a little too technical, a little too hung up on getting things perfect. We've lost the living room. The living room has gone out of the music, but today I feel like we got it back."

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic {unrated} [2]

Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two was certified gold in the United States and Canada. The album peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Top Country Album chart and at 95 on the Billboard 200. Singles from the album included John Denver's "And So It Goes", "Turn of the Century", "When It's Gone" and "One Step Over the Line".

John Denver American singer, songwriter, activist, and humanitarian

Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, activist, and humanitarian, whose greatest commercial success was as a solo singer. After traveling and living in numerous locations while growing up in his military family, Denver began his music career with folk music groups during the late 1960s. Starting in the 1970s, he was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the decade and one of its best-selling artists. By 1974, he was one of America's best-selling performers, and AllMusic has described Denver as "among the most beloved entertainers of his era".

It won Grammy Awards in 1990 for Best Bluegrass Recording (for "The Valley Road", with Bruce Hornsby) and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. It also won Album of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards. A documentary film, The Making of Will the Circle Be Unbroken II, was released by Cabin Fever Entertainment.

Circle II was followed up with a 2002 album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Volume III , which coincided with the 30th anniversary re-release of Will the Circle Be Unbroken .

Track listing

  1. "Life's Railway to Heaven" (Traditional, arranged by Johnny Cash) – 4:39
  2. "Grandpa Was a Carpenter" (John Prine) – 3:24
  3. "When I Get My Rewards" (Paul Kennerley) – 4:25
  4. "Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan" (Traditional) – 3:56
  5. "Little Mountain Church House (Jim Rushing, Carl Jackson) – 3:32
  6. "And So It Goes" (Paul Overstreet, Don Schlitz) – 3:54
  7. "When It's Gone" (Jimmie Fadden, Don Schlitz) – 2:34
    • Lead vocal by Jimmy Ibbotson
  8. "Mary Danced With Soldiers" (Kennerley) – 3:07
  9. "Riding Alone" (Bob Carpenter, Jeff Hanna, Richard Hathaway) – 3:09
    • Lead vocals by Bob Carpenter and Emmylou Harris
  10. "I'm Sitting on Top of the World" (Lonnie Chatmon, Walter Vinson) – 3:10
  11. "Lovin' on the Side" (Paulette Carlson, Jimmy Ibbotson, Sandy Waltner) – 2:57
  12. "Lost River" (Michael Martin Murphey) – 3:26
  13. "Bayou Jubilee" (Jeff Hanna) – 3:01
    • Lead vocal by Jeff Hanna
  14. "Blues Berry Hill" (Carpenter, Fadden, Hanna, Ibbotson, R. Scruggs) – 3:26
    • Instrumental, featuring Randy Scruggs on lead guitar
  15. "Turn of the Century" (J. Fred Knobloch, Dan Tyler) – 3:39
    • Lead vocals by Jimmy Ibbotson (first verse), Jeff Hanna (second verse) and Bob Carpenter (third verse)
  16. "One Step Over the Line" (John Hiatt) – 4:30
  17. "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" (Bob Dylan) – 3:53
  18. "The Valley Road" (Bruce Hornsby) – 4:13
  19. "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (A. P. Carter/last verse lyrics by Jimmy Ibbotson) – 5:39
  20. "Amazing Grace" (John Newton) – 1:48

Personnel

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Session musicians

Chart performance

Chart (1989)Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums5
U.S. Billboard 20095
Canadian RPM Country Albums3
Canadian RPM Top Albums57

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References

  1. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume II booklet and liner notes.
  2. Allmusic review