Jeff Hanna

Is It Rolling, Bob? Talking Dylan

Oct 30 2022 • 41 mins

Jeff Hanna, founder member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, is a team player. He has played with Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Jackson Browne, John Prine, Levon Helm, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Rosanne Cash, Linda Ronstadt and Matraca Berg. Oh, and Roger McGuinn, Jason Isbell, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Larry Campbell and... Lee Marvin. Plus Mother Maybelle Carter (“my first guitar hero”), June Carter Cash, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Roy Acuff and Vassar Clements.

Whether labelled Americana, Country Rock, Bluegrass or Traditional Country, the NGDB have come a long way since their early days as a Southern Californian jug band. Their most recent album is Dirt Does Dylan. Jeff sums it up: “Dylan was our North Star. He was always in the conversation. We would analyse every morsel of that sandwich”. Bring your appetite: this is a particularly tasty episode.

Jeff Hanna has hundreds of recording credits as a composer, vocalist, arranger, producer and acoustic, electric, steel, slide and twelve-string guitarist. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band recorded their first hit “Buy For Me The Rain” in 1967. An even bigger hit followed in 1970: a cover of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles,” with Jeff on vocals and guitar - it was eventually inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 1971, the band and Jeff recorded Will The Circle Be Unbroken, one of the most influential albums of the era, introducing a generation of young musicians to the generation that came before. Two other Circle albums followed. In 2006, Hanna’s composition “Bless The Broken Road” won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song. The NGDB celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 with a sold-out concert at the Ryman Auditorium and the live album “Circlin’ Back”. “Dirt Does Dylan” was released in 2022.




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Recorded 21st September 2022

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