John McEuen, a founding member of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, will be in concert at the Fairfield Community Arts Center on Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m. CONTRIBUTED

Original Nitty Gritty Dirt Band members bringing group’s hits to Fairfield

“We’re really excited that John is coming. He’s one of the original, founding members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, which rose to fame in the 1970s… They took over the scene, and had a number of Top Ten hits like ‘Fishin’ in the Dark’ and ‘Mr. Bojangles,’” said David Sheldrick, marketing specialist for Fairfield Parks & Recreation.

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McEuen (banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle and vocals) will be joined on stage by Les Thompson (also an original Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member, bass, vocals,) Matt Cartsonis (guitar, mandola, vocals) and John Cable (a previous Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member, guitar/vocals).

McEuen and his fellow musicians will share stories and songs throughout the evening. Audiences can expect to hear Nitty Gritty Dirt Band classic songs and many favorites, Carter Family music, along with a multi-media presentation, which will reflect on some of the history and highlights of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

“Having John on the stage, talking about the stories behind many of the songs, will be a memorable evening. He was an integral part of writing these songs and coming up with the stories for the lyrics. Just hearing him talk about the music that he was so involved with personally on a stage as intimate as ours, it’s just going to be a great night,” Sheldrick said.

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The iconic Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has been an influential force in Country Rock and American Roots music for decades with multi-platinum and gold records, a string of top-ten hits such as “Fishin’ in the Dark” and “Mr. Bojangles,” and multiple Grammy, IBMA, CMA Awards and nominations.

The band’s 1972 groundbreaking “Will the Circle be Unbroken” album was inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress as well as the Grammy Hall of Fame. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s recording of “Mr. Bojangles” was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2014, “Fishin’ in the Dark” was certified platinum for digital downloads by the RIAA. The band has been touring for 52 years.

The show is expected to sell out. This is the third year for the Fairfield Signature Sessions series.

Other upcoming events

  • Lexington Children’s Theatre will present “Sacagawea: Discovering History” on Friday, April 6
  • Comedian Dan St. Paul will take the stage for “What’s Funny After 50?” on Saturday, April 7
  • Fairfield’s final winter market, Winter Farmers Market, will be held on Wednesday, April 11

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