Premiere: Jackson Browne joins Nitty Gritty Dirt Band for 50th

A half-century ago, a loose-knit community of young musicians working in Southern California were tinkering with new musical hybrids, experiments that led to the folk-rock sound of the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield, the country rock of Linda Ronstadt and the Flying Burrito Brothers and an even rootsier blend of old-time jug-band music and rock favored by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

This year, the Dirt Band is marking its 50th anniversary, with the core quartet of Jeff Hanna, John McEuen, Jimmie Fadden and Bob Carpenter still actively touring and recording.

The Times is premiering a new performance video the Dirt Band shot recently during a star-studded 50th-anniversary concert at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium, known as “the mother church of country music.”

The Ryman was an apt setting as it was the Dirt Band’s watershed 1972 triple album, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” It’s a work that helped knock down barriers then separating the traditional country and rock music communities, setting the stage for the eventual emergence of what came to be known as Americana music.

For the show, the Dirt Band was joined by numerous musicians the group had worked with over five decades, including Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, Rodney Crowell, Jimmy Ibbotson  and one other singer-songwriter who emerged at the same time and even had a stint as a member of the Dirt Band, Jackson Browne.

Read more and view the performance at LATimes.com