Album: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Speed of Life (Sugar Hill)

The Nitties were one of those happy aggregations that spent the late 1960s alloying the American folk tradition with new-fangled West Coast rock, to no discernable impact on the drift of Western culture – even when Jackson Browne was briefly a member.

This umpteenth effort is beautifully recorded by George Massenberg in Nashville and a joy for connoisseurs of tasty playing. But, as ever, the lack of strong vocal presence means that Western culture may continue its drift undisturbed. Banjos, gentlemen!