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Speed of Life

18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 22, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band-the iconic and profoundly influential group often cited as the catalysts for of an entire movement in country and roots music-have finished work on their first studio album in five years, Speed of Life. The album finds the band at their laid back, ramshackle best, eschewing the large collaboration approach here for a set of songs anchored by the remarkably deft musicianship, and diverse songwriting and vocal styles of the core band of Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden, Bob Carpenter, and John McEuen.

1. Tulsa Sounds Like Trouble to Me
2. Brand New Heartache
3. The Resurrection
4. Somethin' Dangerous
5. Going Up the Country
6. Jimmy Martin
7. Lost in the Pines
8. Speed of Life
9. Amazing Love
10. Stuck in the Middle
11. Earthquake
12. Tryin' to Try
13. Good to Be Alive

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 22, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sugarhill
  • ASIN: B002LB6EEM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,344 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Randy Poe on September 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD
With "Speed of Life," the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has released one of the finest albums of its long and storied career. After a 5-year hiatus from the studio (a stretch longer than the entire lifespan of most recording acts), this group nearing its 45th anniversary has clearly gained a whole new head of steam.

Grammy awards may sit on their mantels and multi-platinum records may hang on their walls, but Jeff Hanna, John McEuen, Jimmie Fadden, and Bob Carpenter have decided not to rest on their much-deserved laurels.

Like most of the few remaining acts that began in the 1960s, the band could have lived out the rest of its days on the road, playing all of those chart hits for crowds of contented listeners. But these four musicians seem to think they still have something to prove - and with "Speed of Life," the proof that they're still a viable musical force today is evident in every single song on the album.

Hearing Fadden's chugging harmonica at the beginning of the first track, "Tulsa Sounds Like Trouble to Me," is like getting a call from a long-lost friend. In fact, throughout the entire album there's a sense of the familiar bordering on the nostalgic - but it can't be nostalgia if it's brand new - and that's the beauty of this band and this CD.

John McEuen shows off his composing and banjo-playing skills on "Lost In The Pines." Bob Carpenter takes the lead vocals on "Somethin' Dangerous" and "Earthquake." One has an almost involuntarily compulsion to turn up the volume when Jimmie Fadden and the band perform a rousing version of the old Canned Heat chestnut, "Going Up The Country." Fadden also takes the lead on "Tryin' To Try" - a song he co-wrote with Texas legend Guy Clark.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bruce James on October 27, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I struggled for a moment when considering how many stars to give this album. I mean, its a great album -- one of the best ever by the NGDB -- but its not Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy (Liberty Records 1969). But what is? Uncle Charlie set the standard for country-rock that has never been matched. So what do we have here? The opening cut, "Tulsa Sounds Like Trouble To Me," is classic Dirt Band from the opening Jimmie Fadden harmonica and the great Jeff Hanna vocal. OK, I'm into it already. But what got me hooked was that there were not just a handful of keepers, but the entire album was filled with songs I'm going to want to put on my MP3. "Resurrection" is getting a lot of press, and its worthy of download. But I was very surprised by a couple of Bob Carpenter songs -- "Earthquake" and "Something Dangerous." "Earthquake," written with John McEuen, is one of the few Dirt Band attempts at western swing and a great protest song to California's seismic living conditions. OK, can someone set up a tour with Asleep at the Wheel?? Do you need to be more impressed? This album was recorded "live" -- meaning everyone was in the studio playing simultaneously (the norm these days is for each instrument to be recorded separately). Also, I'm still amazed to think that Jimmie Fadden plays the harmonica and the drum set at the same time (and in between breaths he lays out harmony vocals). Buy it, download it, whatever. You'll spend the first day boogying, and the next day memorizing the lyrics, even if it isn't Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. M. Mitchell on November 14, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I've been a Dirt Band fan ever since I first saw the band perform some 30 or so years ago in the movie/documentary Banjoman. The mixture of grass roots music with rock and roll energy was infectious to say the least. I've followed the band ever since and always look forward to hearing a new release from the group. Their ability to defy classifications is also part of their appeal and for that reason I would not compare this album to any of their others. By my personal opinion it's just another gem to add to their already rich collection.

I, like some of the other reviewers, was at first a little disappointed that Ibby was no longer in the band's line up. But, I over came this disappointment after listening to the whole album. With Ibby's absents we are treated with more vocals from Jimmy Fadden. And the winning track on this stellar album for me is his cover of Canned Heat's Going up the Country. The cover is better than the original. Jim's vocal and harmonica, Jeff's resonator guitar, mixed with Bob's honky tonk piano, and John's driving banjo just blew me away. My wife is perplexed with my recent desire to buy a VW bus and take us and the dog on a country wide road trip this summer. Guess I need to share the album with her too.

Thanks guys, you did it again.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dendreya on September 23, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is another great album as usual. I've had the CD for a couple weeks, ordered from their website, and it has a good mix of country and bluegrass. Can't stop listening to it.
I gave it 4 stars, reason being, Jimmy Ibbotson is not on the album. He's truly missed not being with the band anymore.
Addt'l singers on the album did well.
Highlights: Brand New Heartache, Jimmy Martin and Good to be Alive. All songs are awesome but these are my fav 3.
It's a Must Buy for all NGDB fans.
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