Customer Reviews


48 Reviews
5 star:
 (37)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the classic the original "Circle" is, but I like it
This record is the sequel to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's original Will The Circle Be Unbroken triple album, the one that got me hooked on these guys. In '72, when Circle was released, the members of the Dirt Band were long-haired, progressive country-rock artists who were trying to bridge the musical and cultural gap between themselves and the veteran country artists...
Published on March 28, 2002 by Ken

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars OK ALBUM. NO WHERE NEAR AS GOOD AS THE FIRST ONE
The first WTCBU album caught lightning in the bottle. An amazing album where almost every track is a winner. The second album is much less bluegrass oriented and seems a little lost. I bought it out during a $5 sale so still happy with the purchase, but not my favorite.
Published 29 days ago by Ric In Richmond


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the classic the original "Circle" is, but I like it, March 28, 2002
By 
Ken "KC Music Fan" (Olathe, KS, U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2 (Audio CD)
This record is the sequel to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's original Will The Circle Be Unbroken triple album, the one that got me hooked on these guys. In '72, when Circle was released, the members of the Dirt Band were long-haired, progressive country-rock artists who were trying to bridge the musical and cultural gap between themselves and the veteran country artists they were recording with. When the sequel to Circle came out in '89, 17 years later, NGDB was a veteran country act who had had a lot of hits. Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Volume 2 is not the groundbreaking album its predecessor was, but this record has a lot of great songs by a talented group of artists.
I don't know where to start with the highlights--there are many. The title track features Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff, Ricky Skaggs, Levon Helm(formerly of The Band) and NGDB's Jimmy Ibbotson taking turns singing the lead, and all the musicians and singers who perform on this record join in. Acuff, who was one of the singers on the first Circle album, and country music Hall of Famer Earl Scruggs, who played banjo, make a return engagement here. Ibbotson added a fifth verse to A.P. Carter's original lyric and dedicated it to the late Mother Maybelle Carter, who was one of the key performers on the original Circle album. The first hit off this record was "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere", the classic Byrds song that was written by Bob Dylan. Although I think the Dirt Band's live version of the song on their Live Two Five album is a little more energetic than the studio version, "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" is noteworthy because Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, two of the guys from the Byrds, sing lead here. "Turn Of The Century" is the Dirt Band's utopian vision of the future("There won't be no TV preachers to ask how much we gave/We won't need no TV preachers/See, by then we'll all be saved") and features Jerry Douglas on dobro, Mark O'Connor on fiddle, and NGDB's Jimmy Ibbotson, Jeff Hanna and Bob Carpenter each singing a verse. "Lost River", written by Michael Martin Murphey, has Murphey singing lead and John McEuen, who had left the Dirt Band a couple of years before, joining his old bandmates on banjo. Hanna's Cajun rocker "Bayou Jubilee", which NGDB first did on their 1975 album Dream, is redone here and is no less spirited now than it was then. "When It's Gone", with Randy Scruggs(son of Earl) on lead guitar, O'Connor on fiddle, and Jimmie Fadden on harmonica, is a toe-tapper reminiscent of NGDB's classic bluegrass and swing numbers. "And So It Goes", on which John Denver is backed up by the Dirt Band, was the first hit song in four years for the classic '70s folk-rock artist. Other songs I really like on this record are the traditional bluegrass anthem "Sittin' On Top Of The World" with lead vocals by Jimmy Martin(another singer who was on the first Circle album); the gospel numbers "Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan", featuring the New Grass Revival, and "Little Mountain Church House", sung by Ricky Skaggs; John Prine's "Grandpa Was A Carpenter"; John Hiatt's "One Step Over The Line", with lead vocals by Hiatt and Rosanne Cash(Johnny's daughter); and the moving wartime ballad "Mary Danced With Soldiers", sung by Emmylou Harris.
However, even though I like Circle, Volume 2, I give it only four stars instead of five, mainly because of the way it was recorded. On NGDB's classic Will The Circle Be Unbroken, every song was recorded on the first or second try--as Acuff, one of the participants on both Circle albums, said, "Do it right the first time"--and a lot of the conversation the participants had between songs was recorded, giving the album a "live" feel even though it was a studio recording. There are some live conversations on this record, but in my opinion, most of the record sounds more like a slickly-put-together studio product than a get-together by folks having a good time, which is the feeling I get from listening to the LP of the first Circle album. Still, I don't think Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fans--or music fans in general--ought to miss this one. Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Volume 2 is a fine tribute to tradition featuring a band who has been making high-quality music for a long time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Circle album, June 27, 2004
This review is from: Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2 (Audio CD)
There are three Circle collections. General opinion is that the first album is the best, the third album is a close second and that this is the weakest of the three. I love all three but this one particularly appeals to me. It has many traditional musicians and singers but also a few less obvious singers like John Denver, Levon Helm (of the Band), John Prine, Roger McGuinn (of the Byrds), Paulette Carlson (of Highway 101) and Bruce Hornsby. Perhaps it is the presence of such guests that some dislike but you can't please everybody.

Whatever you may think of the normal music that some of the guests have recorded, they all justify their place on this excellent album of traditional music, sometimes singing songs they've previously recorded, but adapted to a traditional setting. For some of them, it may have been their chance to record some traditional country without upsetting their fans or their record label. Both would understand that this was (for them) a one-off. They certainly made the most of their opportunity.

So we get Bruce Hornsby singing and playing piano on Valley road, but in a traditional country/bluegrass style. Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, both ex-members of the Byrds, sing and play guitar on You ain't going nowhere, a Bob Dylan song that was recorded by the Byrds in the sixties. Michael Martin Murphey sings and plays guitar on Lost river, one of his own songs. John Hiatt sings a duet with Roseanne Cash on One step over the line. John Prine sings and plays guitar on his song Grandpa was a carpenter.

Some of the songs are oldies like Life's railway to heaven (featuring Johnny Cash), I'm sitting on top of the world (featuring Jimmy Martin), the title track (featuring everybody but particularly Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff and Ricky Skaggs) and Amazing grace, an instrumental solo by Randy Scruggs. Other songs appear to be originals including And so it goes (featuring John Denver), Mary danced with soldiers (featuring Emmylou) and Lovin' on the side (featuring Paulette Carlson).

If you haven't got any of the Circle albums, this album is a great one to start with, especially if you're relatively new to traditional country music.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic country anthology, July 18, 2002
By 
Theodore Illenberg (Fresno, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2 (Audio CD)
Emilylou Harris summed up this recording perfectly in describing her roots singing music in the living room and that this recording goes back to those roots. This a classic album combining current stars such as Michael Murphy, Paullette Carlson, Ricky Skaggs and John Denver. as well as older artists such as Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff and Johnny Prine. The Album obiviously Features the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
This album varies from traditional gospel and inspirational tunes such as "Life's Railway to Heaven" ,"Do you hear Jeruselem Moan" and "the little mountain church house (featuring Ricky Skaggs) to the more contemporary "At the turn of the century" and "So it goes" (With John Denver) to the more Blue grass style "I'm on top of the world" and "Valley road".
This recording contains almost every style of traditional country music imaginable and is a worthy addition to its predecessor. It is the perfect anthology of traditonal as well as modern cointry music. The final tune "will the circle be unbroken" is sung by everyone on the album. This song is followed by Chet Atkins playing a solo on "Amazing Grace"
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Roots Music!, April 27, 2002
This review is from: Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2 (Audio CD)
Before I share my thoughts on "Circle II," I need to clarify something. Many people over the years have referred to this disc as country. Simply stated, it isn't. It's a combination of bluegrass, folk, appalachian, and gospel. Think about those 4 styles of music as you'll see how true this is.
As for the disc itself, let me start by saying this. If you're a fan of any 1 or more of the above mentioned styles of music, then you'll love this disc. It sort of reminds me of Christmas at Grandma's house. There's something for everyone. Everyone who's bought this seems to be fans of one person or another that's on here, too. The picking, playing, and singing all blend well enough to let everyone shine. No one stand out, but yet everyone does,
This album got the NGDB their first 2 awards ever. The first was for album of the year at CMA Awards. The second was for bluegrass recording of the year at the Grammies(The Valley Road w/Bruce Hornsby). It's sad that it took these guys so long to win an award. But it was also great because it was for a recording with no electric instruments! And remember folks, this was long before the recent resurgence in bluegrass music! One other thing-The NGDB won a platinum award for this disc, too. Not bad, huh?
If you've wondered where country music came from or perhaps where it's headed, listen to this disc. This one should give you a pretty good idea. I hope the NGDB record a "Circle III" album. If you're out there guys, think about recording it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Out Of the Studio & Into the Living Room, December 18, 2000
This review is from: Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2 (Audio CD)
While not the ground-breaking album that 1972's volume one was, Volume Two is a worthy successor. This time around the NGDB are the old veterans who bring on board contemporaries like John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs and John Hiatt. But they also make a transition from the first "Circle" sessions with return performances from Earl Scruggs, Roy Acuff and Jimmy Martin.
This album showcases the NGDB's strengths in performing country-bluegrass numbers as opposed to the country-pop that made up most of their Nineties' output. Lending instumental support on more than half of the tracks are Mark O'Connor (fiddle, mandolin), Jerry Douglas (Dobro) and Roy Huskey Jr. (bass).
Highlights include "Lost River," where John McEuen reunites with his former bandmates on banjo, "You Ain't Going Nowhere" with former Byrds Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, the New Grass Revival's romp through "Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan," and Ricky Skaggs' gospel number "Little Mountain Church House."
These recordings evoke a warm intimate feeling, which only add to the album's charms. It's been eleven years, I'm ready for volume three. RECOMMENDED
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! A Powerhouse Album of Bluegrass Gold!, September 26, 2000
By 
A. Wolverton (Crofton, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2 (Audio CD)
This album could be called "The Country Music Hall of Fame." It has no equal. If you have never really listened to bluegrass music, give this disc a try. Where else can you find country pioneers like Roy Acuff singing alongside greats like Johnny Cash? Every song is a winner, but some are so good it's unbelievable: "Mary Danced With Soldiers" is Emmylou Harris at her silver-voiced best with a chilling tale of the Civil War. The title song, featuring the entire cast of musicians, is a powerful, emotional tour-de-force that is hard to forget. It's a great listening experience...You can tell that these people are simply having a blast performing these songs. The pure joy of playing and singing is obvious. I challenge anyone to buy this disc and have a bad time!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Circle Difficult to Break, May 26, 2003
This review is from: Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2 (Audio CD)
A friend told me, "This disc is where I go when the current state of the music business depresses me."
Having said that, my friend said, "you should hear it."
He knew my musical roots go the way of Gospel and Bluegrass, so
he made the recommendation on those grounds.
This is my history. This is "where I'm from".
I played "Circle II" through the first time, and most of that time, sat stunned as this music..."Roots Music" invaded my
home, and my heart...again. This record was recorded well before
"O Brother, Where Art Thou?" was even a glimmer in someone's eye.
I'd fogotten just how good this stuff can be, if done correctly.
This is well-crafted, solidly-played, honestly sung music from
people who know the instruments they pick up and who aren't afraid to PLAY. This is not formula-driven pop, CHR, or incessantly boring drum loops some call "Rap Music". This stuff is real.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the record for me was the appearance of Bruce Hornsby, whose keyboard skills are almost
unmatched in today's industry. "valley Road" takes a seriously wicked twist as the tempo is bumped up to twice that of the track as recorded earlier by Hornsby and the Range. THIS arrangement sizzles! Other surprises are the instruments played behind Skagg's vocals on "Church House". Rhythmically simple, but harmony-driven, the players compliment the lead vocal perfectly.
Emmylou Harris fans will not be disappointed, as she is in rare form for this album.
Over all, the Circle of tightly-knit, well-sung tunes has yet to be broken even by those who've come after. A great record.
This one's a "must have".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Recording Worthy Of A Desert Island, November 24, 2002
By 
This review is from: Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2 (Audio CD)
I was never much of a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fan. One day while hunting through the budget bins at a local record store i can across this CD for a dollar and I decided to give it a whirl. WOW!!!
Years before "Brother, Where Art Thou" made old-time country music chic, these guys were making incredible music. I'd actually have to rate this CD at the very top of my list of desert island recordings. There are remarkable performances by dozens of Country music's best. This recording feels like you're in the same room, just a bunch of friends making music. All of the music is first-rate, the arrangements are stunning. If there was ever an excellent way to introduce a friend to the potential of Country music, this is the recording to get.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars possibly the finest compilation ever!!, May 17, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2 (Audio CD)
You know the old "if you could take any five ____ to a deserted island?" If the question was music, this would be one of my answers. Love the original "Circle" and this is a perfect sequel. So many of these performers are favorites of mine.
I think Prine's "Grandpa Was a Carpenter" is an incredible song. The verse about Grandma always gives me a good feeling.
I believe this album won several awards for CD, video, etc. Congratulations...well done!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine heart-felt mountain music played by the best, July 11, 2004
This review is from: Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2 (Audio CD)
I bought this CD back in 1990 and it is one my favorites. The audio is supreme. The music sounds like a bunch of friends having a good time. Cash, Prine, Helm, Hiatt and Cash are the standouts. Even John Denver has a great song. I am not a "country fan." My tastes are Gov't Mule / Phish / Allman Bros.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2
Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2 by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (Audio CD - 2002)
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.