John McEuen is a true traveling troubadour. He's a musician whose spent the better part of the past 47 years making music on his own and as a member of the seminal Americana outfit the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, demonstrating his prowess on guitar, banjo, mandolin, and fiddle.
Residing on Florida's left coast provides us with the opportunity to catch him even more frequently in our own environs. "My own shows allow me to cover more music than the band confines allow," McEuen insists. "It's simply more challenging and fun. And, playing in the state I now live in allows me to bring more of my different instruments to do more of what I love to do on stage."
Not that he's traveling entirely alone. With musical partner Matt Cartsonis in tow, McEuen promises even more of a familiar flavor. "I have been told I put the 'tic' in eclectic, and that is a lot of what this show will be about. But people will also hear some of my favorite Dirt Band standards, as well as the stories behind them. Matt always brings a couple of songs from his years touring with Warren Zevon. And he hits those high bluegrass notes when needed."
Given the rich legacy that McEuen can claim - the Dirt Band's 1972 album Will the Circle Be Unbroken offered the first collaboration between classic and contemporary country performers, while the group's 1977 tour of the Soviet Union became the first for an American band - his forthcoming book ought to be an excellent read. Meanwhile, we have the chance to witness him firsthand. "It was a great evening at the Bamboo Room last time," he suggests. "And this one will be better!"
John McEuen. With Matt Cartsonis. 9 p.m., Saturday, October 19, at Bamboo Room, 25 South J St., Boca Raton. Tickets cost $23 and $28. Call 561-585-2583, or visit bambooroomblues.com.
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