Album Review

The first album issued by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band after they had temporarily disbanded in 1969, this greatly expanded their pop audience, due primarily to the Top 10 hit cover of Jerry Jeff Walker's "Mr. Bojangles" (which actually wasn't a hit until early 1971). The group moved into a more accessible rock-oriented fusion of country, bluegrass, pop, and rock & roll, relying primarily on smartly chosen covers of tunes by the likes of Walker, Mike Nesmith, Randy Newman, and Kenny Loggins. Few bands had incorporated instruments more commonly associated with country and bluegrass, particularly mandolin and banjo, as comfortably into a rock setting prior to this release, and their well-crafted harmonies help put the songs over for those not-steeped-in backwoods sounds. It was an extremely diverse program for a country-rock album, too, moving from rustic instrumentals and snippets of tapes of elderly musicians performing rural Americana to the Buddy Holly cover "Rave On." The group were actually at their best, though, when doing softer, melodic pop tunes. "Mr. Bojangles" was a deserved huge success in that regard, but Nesmith's "Some of Shelley's Blues" and Loggins' "House at Pooh Corner" were almost as catchy and appealing.
Richie Unterberger, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Some of Shelly's Blues
  2. Prodigal's Return
  3. Cure
  4. Travelin' Mood
  5. Chicken Reel
  6. Yukon Railroad
  7. Livin' Without You
  8. Clinch Mountain Backstep
  9. Rave On
  10. Billy in the Low Ground
  11. Jessie James
  12. Uncle Charlie Interview
  13. Mr. Bojangles
  14. Opus 36
  15. Santa Rosa
  16. Propinquity
  17. Uncle Charlie
  18. Randy Lynn Rag
  19. House at Pooh Corner
  20. Swanee River
  21. Uncle Charlie Interview #2/Spanish Fandango