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Uniquely Vital Contribution to American Musical History
Cover art [30th Anniversary Edition]
Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, et al.
{Including Mother Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Junior Huskey, etc.}

{Go to my original review, posted 2/14/2000}
Partaking equally of the qualities of musicological field recordings and of classic Nashville studio expertise, this is a recording that belongs in the CD library of EVERYONE who is actually interested in music -- whether you even normally like country music or not.

The added material, of course, is welcome, and the re-mastering of this edition can only be a plus, though, since the original was mixed live directly to two-track master, i assume that they have not altered the mix, simply improved the sound quality, which was pretty good, anyway.

As a document of an era of American music that was already beginning to pass away even as it was being produced, this is an essential album for anyone who cares at all about the evolution of that music. (As does, in a negative way, 1989's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken 2", which shows what a wrong direction Nashville country music went down in the fifteen or so years intervening between the two albums.)

Even if you already own this album in every possible format, including cassette and 8-track, you need to buy a new copy of this remastered, 30th anniversary edition.
Another Voice in the Chorus
                                          art [30th Anniversary Edition]
Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, et al.
{Including Mother Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Junior Huskey, etc.}
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The chorus of praise for this incredible set, that is.

I notice a couple of the reviews that were already posted here [on Amazon.com] have said what i've said on a more or less regular basis since i bought the original edition of this album -- this album belongs in EVERY music-lover's library, no matter what sort of music you THINK you like.

Listening to this album has always been a revelation for me -- what is revealed varies from time to time, but every spin shows me something to think about.

(Lately, listens to this set mostly engender dark ruminations on the parlous state of country music in the year 2000...)

(...and even more, in 2013.)

Recorded live in the studio -- no overdubs, no "sweetening" -- mixed directly to a two-track master to catch the spontaneity, this is the True Country Tradition made accessible and available.

A couple of minor gripes --

The track timings listed on the inlay card are correct for the songs, but many of the tracks include a fair amount of studio chatter, and actually run long.

One of the inner sleeves of the original 3-LP version featured a reprinted article from the Nashville paper and (i believe) a "Rolling Stone" piece on the project; it would be nice to see those items here with the CD version...

An Interesting Note: Dean O.Torrence, credited with the cover graphics on this set, is none other than half of the Sixties surf-music vocal duo, Jan & Dean.

You Need This Recording.
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