PBS airs Nitty Gritty Dirt Band special this March

BY JUSTIN STOKES | March 06, 2016

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: Alive and Circlin’ At 50 Years

Half a century is a long time to be making music, even for a legendary country act.

Purveyors of a style that’s pumped new blood into the many capillaries that feed from and into the heart of music that is country, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has been taking the essential earthy sound and making it work for fifty years, making records with precious metal ratings that include songs like “Fishin’ in the Dark” - the longest recurrent country radio track so far. Honored last year by the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, their fifth decade comes after being inducted in both the Grammy Hall of Fame and the U.S. Library of Congress.

Now, PBS is honoring them by allowing viewers to see the quartet host a televised Pledge Special, taped at historic Nashville venue the Ryman Auditorium, which will air at various dates and times through the month of March. The program will reunite the band with former members Jackson Browne & Jimmy Ibbotson, and will pull from a wide palette of guests that include Rodney Crowell, Vince Gill, Jerry Douglas, Alison Krauss, and others.

Member Jeff Hanna offered the following statement about the special: “We are so humbled and honored to share the stage with these legendary artists who we’re grateful to call friends. And now our fans will have an opportunity to enjoy this historic show thanks to PBS and the Tennessee Department of Tourism.”

Those who want to keep the fiftieth-anniversary event will have the opportunity to do so through an accompanying CD and DVD that will feature additional performances as well as show tickets and a chance to meet the bad in certain markets, made available through PBS stations.

The band is currently on tour, with more dates to be announced and some surprise guests lined up for the occasion.