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Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. 3 + Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2 + Will the Circle Be Unbroken (30th Anniversary Edition)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 1, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00006I4YE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,325 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Take Me In Your Lifeboat (feat. Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury & Robbie McCoury)
2. Milk Cow Blues (feat. Doc Watson, Richard Watson & Josh Graves)
3. I Find Jesus
4. Hold Whatcha Got (feat. Jimmy Martin)
5. Mama's Opry (feat. Iris DeMent)
6. Diamonds In The Rough (feat. June Carter Cash & Earl Scruggs)
7. Lonesome River (feat. Sam Bush)
8. Some Dark Holler (feat. Dwight Yoakam)
9. The Lowlands (feat. Jaime Hanna & Jonathan McEuen)
10. Love, Please Come Home (feat. Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury & Robbie McCoury)
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Fishin' Blues (feat. Taj Mahal & Vassar Clements)
2. Save It, Save It (feat. Jimmy Martin)
3. Wheels (feat. Dwight Yoakam)
4. Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms (feat. Willie Nelson)
5. Oh Cumberland (feat. Matraca Berg & Emmylou Harris)
6. I Am A Pilgrim (feat. Doc Watson & Richard Watson)
7. Sallie Ann (feat. Earl Scruggs)
8. Catfish John (feat. Alison Krauss)
9. Roll The Stone Away
10. All Prayed Up (feat. Vince Gill)
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the early '70s, the original Circle teamed the Dirt Band, a group of longhaired young country-rockers, with several country and bluegrass legends. In an era of polarization between young and old, it introduced countless baby boomers to that music, paving the way for the recent triumph of the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack. This time, the Dirt Band reunites with Jimmy Martin, Earl Scruggs, and Doc Watson, veterans of the first Circle, and adds a host of other country, folk, and bluegrass greats. Despite several stellar performances, among them Del McCoury's bracing "Take Me in Your Lifeboat" and Martin's snappy re-creation of his 1950s favorite "Save It, Save It," most of what's here is merely pleasant. Attempts to replicate the feel of the original, complete with copious between-take studio chitchat and an acoustic guitar coda by Randy Scruggs, come off a bit self-conscious and forced. The original Circle remains a landmark, but in a time when cameo appearances and cross-generation collaborations are so common--Nashville calls them Vocal Events--what was once a unique concept often seems anticlimactic and mundane. --Rich Kienzle

Customer Reviews

I really really do really mean it.
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 'Will The Circle Be Unbroken', is another masterpiece in the 'Will The Circle Be Unbroken' set.
Buford M. Bell
Other great performances here include the immortal Doc Watson, Taj Mahal, and Willie Nelson.
James D. Ahrens

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on December 1, 2002
Format: Audio CD
While this third volume couldn't possibly be the ground-breaking release that was 1972's initial "Circle," it wears the legacy well. Thirty years down-the-line, the Dirt Band are no longer the eager young turks of 1972, nor is this sort of inter-generational tribute to roots a new concept. In the decades since the first "Circle," what was once novel is now more commonplace, and though the familiarity doesn't lessen the quality or value of the music, it does lessen its impact.

In addition to the Dirt Band, the first "Circle" is reprised in the playing and singing of Jimmy Martin, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson and Vassar Clements. Notably missing are Roy Acuff, Merle Travis and Mother Maybelle, though the latter two are celebrated in song -- Travis by Doc Watson's recitation of "I Am a Pilgrim," and Carter by Johnny Cash's newly-penned "Tears in the Holston River."

The historical resonance that's been lost to the passing of legends is renewed by several family gatherings, including performances from Del, Robbie and Ronnie McCoury, Doc and Richard Watson, John and Jonathan McCuen (the former of whom only recently returned after an extended absence from the Dirt Band's lineup), Jeff and Jaime Hanna, and Jimmy and Ray Martin. The passing of the torch, first from Nashville's pioneers to a new generation, and now from that generation to it's children, shows the Circle to really be a link in a chain.

The "new blood" on this volume features established stars like Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Vince Gill, Dwight Yoakam and Tom Petty. A few lesser-known (but no less talented) artists, Iris Dement and songwriter Matraca Berg, are joined by legends Taj Mahal, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD
If you like NGDB's first Circle album, you'll love this one. Yes, the current "in crowd" of country music muscle all makes an appearance from Allison Krause to Vince Gill, as well as the varied talents of Taj Mahal, Tom Petty, Iris DeMent and Dwight Yoakam. Circle I and III are also bridged by repeat performers Randy and Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, and Vassar Clements. Bluegrass titans Del McCoury, Tony Rice and Sam Bush also lend their talents to this project. But this album is so much more than great singers, pickers, and legends getting together to collaborate on a few songs. It is truly the best of Americana, roots and acoustic music. It is soul music. It is music from the front porch, and from your living room.
This is without a doubt the best album to come out of Nashville this year. This is not the slick, polished, over produced dribble that permeates country radio and that makes one song almost indistinguishable from the next. This is music played and sung from the heart. Thanks to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band for once again bringing music back to it's roots and heritage, for reminding us to take a look in the rearview mirror to see where we came from, and for single handedly making the musical past relevant to the musical future. This is the "must have" album for 2002...and beyond. (And there's a hidden track!)
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
It's easy to criticize WTCBU 3 as paling versus the original, but that's kind of like some old-fart neighbor telling a teenage grandson "You ain't the man your grandpa was...". It's pretentious to make that kind of comparison.....this album is more like a brand new BMW versus a 30-year-old classic. Can you look at it and see the purity of the bloodline? In this case, you bet your rear you can....
This album has in spades what both prior Circles were known for: an informal jam atmosphere, hot licks and tight harmonies, and super-clean recording acoustics. In the process, it also throws in countless subtle details to support the "bloodline" analogy. Johnny Cash singing his own ballad about Mother Maybelle...the matriarch and his mother-in-law. The late June Carter Cash dueting with Earl Scruggs. The sons of Jeff Hanna and John McEuen dueting with their fathers on supporting strings, Doc Watson digging deep into the folk archive with his grandson Richard, versus 30 years ago when he was playing with his son, the late Merle Watson. Taj Mahal, bringing a previously unrepresented view of The South into this history book.
Sure you can dis it for following the same formula as the prior two Circles. But fact is, that's not a bad formula to follow. This is a great album of American Music, made by American musicians. Buy It.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
About every fifteen years or so, the NGDB gather together a set of guests to record a Circle album. Despite some great rock and country music in between, it is the Circle albums for which they will be best remembered. In keeping with the quality of the guests and the quality of the music of the first two volumes, the opening track (Take me in your lifeboat with Del McCoury) sets the same sandard here, one which is maintained throughout both CD's.
It is many years since Iris DeMent recorded an album of her own, but she makes regular guest appearances and I always love to hear her angelic, twangy, down-to-earth voice - in this case, on Mama's Opry. Among other highlights (for me) are Goodnight Irene and Roll in my sweet baby's arms (both with Willie Nelson), Tears in the Holston river (with Johnny Cash) and Oh Cumberland (with Matraca Berg and Emmylou). I was particularly pleased to see Matraca here - she is a vastly under-rated singer but it seems that, however many hits she writes for others, not enough people are interested in hearing her own versions of her songs.
I'll be faithful to you (with Emmylou) is a song I first heard by Marie Osmond, who cut a unbelievably brilliant traditional country version of it with mandolin as the main backing - it was the most traditional country track she ever recorded. Don Williams also recorded a fine version of it, in his typical style (which I also enjoy).
Dwight Yoakam sings on two songs (Wheels - a Chris Hillman/Gram Parsons song - and the traditional Some dark holler) while there are also brilliant contributions from Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Taj Mahal and many others. Your favorite might be one of the other tracks - there are so many great tracks here.
I loved both the previous Circle albums, so had no hesitation in buying this.
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Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. 3
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