Radio broadcast alert

Listen to WUMB radio (U Mass/Boston) at noon Eastern time on Sunday Feb 10 for a concert recorded live last night with John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. You can listen on the web.
That was a member concert, for station supporters. Arlene phones in to request tickets to the member concerts whenever she hears about them. We didn’t know who McEuen was or what we were getting in for. He is just the most amazing instrumentalist I’ve ever seen, with the possible exception of Pat Donahue (who now is a regular on Prairie Home Companion, who we also saw at a WUMB member concert). He plays banjo better than anyone else you’ve ever seen, and fiddle and guitar as well as anyone. He is also about as funny a performer as you want to see, but on the radio you won’t see him turning around to look at the empty stage behind him as he plays the bass strings on his guitar and says “how about a hand for my bass player.”

He talked a lot about the history of the Dirt Band and about how they made the “Will the Circle be Unbroken” recording with all the big names in traditional country music. He had lots of amazing stories — e.g. auditioning with the Rolling Stones and meeting Arlo Guthrie just before Arlo’s recording of “City of New Orleans” came out, when Arlo asked the guy who wrote the song, “why did John Denver change your words?”

“Back in the ’60s people used to say, ‘I got really fried last night’. These days, those same people say, ‘I can’t eat that, it’s fried’.”

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