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

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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's star-studded 1972 triple-album Will The Circle Be Unbroken is regarded as the first stirrings of the nascent Americana movement, introducing The Carter Family, Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson to a young, metropolitan audience.

Speed Of Life has no equivalent huge roster of guest legends, but remains a powerful advert for the mood-lightening potency of bluegrass, whether the band are paying tribute to the king of bluegrass, "Jimmy Martin" or musing on the passage of time in more reflective material such as "Tryin' To Try", "Speed Of Life" and "The Resurrection". "Tulsa Sounds Like Trouble To Me" opens with a swagger, setting things up for "Brand New Heartache", where whiskery dobro chords underpin scurrying mandolin, fiddle, harmonica and slide guitar. And rounding the set off are old-timey country-blues versions of the Canned Heat's "Going Up The Country", and Gerry Rafferty's standard "Stuck In The Middle", which adapts brilliantly to the hillbilly-reggae bluegrass treatment of banjo, mandolin and accordion, guaranteeing a fun finish.

Download this: Tulsa Sounds Like Trouble To Me, Brand New Heartache, The Resurrection, Stuck In The Middle, Going Up The Country

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