Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy (1970)

FrontCover1The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is an American country rock band formed in 1966. The group has existed in various forms since its founding in Long Beach, California. Between 1976 and 1981, the band performed and recorded as the Dirt Band.

Constant members since the early times are singer-guitarist Jeff Hanna and drummer Jimmie Fadden. Multi-instrumentalist John McEuen was with the band from 1966 to 1986 and returned during 2001, staying 16 years, then departing again in November 2017. Keyboardist Bob Carpenter joined the band in 1977. The band is often cited as instrumental to the progression of contemporary country and roots music.

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The band’s successes include a cover version of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles”. Albums include 1972’s Will the Circle be Unbroken, featuring such traditional country artists as Mother Maybelle Carter, Earl Scruggs, Roy Acuff, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, and Jimmy Martin. A follow-up album based on the same concept, Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two was released in 1989, was certified gold, won two Grammys, and was named Album of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards.

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Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy is the 1970 album from The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band that contains the hit song “Mr. Bojangles”. The album reached No. 66 on US charts. Three singles charted: “Mr. Bojangles” reached No. 9, “House at Pooh Corner” reached No. 53, and “Some Of Shelly’s Blues” reached No. 64. In Canada, the singles reached No. 2, No. 30, and No. 56.

The 1994 CD version has the title Uncle Charlie And His Dog on the spine. (wikipedia)

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The first album issued by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band after they had temporarily disbanded in 1969, this greatly expanded their pop audience, due primarily to the Top 10 hit cover of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles” (which actually wasn’t a hit until early 1971). The group moved into a more accessible rock-oriented fusion of country, bluegrass, pop, and rock & roll, relying primarily on smartly chosen covers of tunes by the likes of Walker, Mike Nesmith, Randy Newman, and Kenny Loggins. Few bands had incorporated instruments more commonly associated with country and bluegrass, particularly mandolin and banjo, as comfortably into a rock setting prior to this release, and their well-crafted harmonies help put the songs over for those not-steeped-in backwoods sounds.

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It was an extremely diverse program for a country-rock album, too, moving from rustic instrumentals and snippets of tapes of elderly musicians performing rural Americana to the Buddy Holly cover “Rave On.” The group were actually at their best, though, when doing softer, melodic pop tunes. “Mr. Bojangles” was a deserved huge success in that regard, but Nesmith’s “Some of Shelley’s Blues” and Loggins’ “House at Pooh Corner” were almost as catchy and appealing. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Jimmie Fadden (guitar, harmonica, washtub bass, vocals, drums)
Jeff Hanna (guitar, drums, washboard, percussion, vocals)
Jimmy Ibbotson (guitar, keyboards, drums, percusion, accordion, vocals)
John McEuen (banjo, mandolin, guitar, accordion  pedal-guitar, vocals)
Les Thompson (bass, mandolin, guitar, vocals)
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Ralph Barr (guitar, vocals)
Byron Berline (violin)
Bill Cunningham (bass)
Chris Darrow (guitar, violin, vocals)
Jim Gordon (horns, keyboards)
Russ Kunkel (drums on 13.)
John London (bass)
Maurice Manceau (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Mike Rubini (piano on 13.)

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Tracklist:
01. Some Of Shelly’s Blues (Nesmith) 3.14
02. Prodigal’s Return (Loggins/Lottermoser) 3.10
03. The Cure (Hanna) 2.11
04. Travelin’ Mood (Waynes) 2.39
05. Chicken Reel (Traditional) 0.55
06. Yukon Railroad (Loggins/Lottermoser) 2.17
07. Livin’ Without You (Newman) 2.04
08. Clinch Mountain Backstep (Rakes) 2.30
09. Rave On (Petty/Tilghman/West) 2.55
10. Billy In The Low Ground (Thompson) 1.15
11. Jesse James (Traditional) 0.50
12. Uncle Charlie Interview (Uncle Charlie) 5.21
13. Mr. Bojangles (Walker) 3.36
14. Opus 36, Clementi (Clementi) 1.40
15. Santa Rosa (Loggins) 2.24
16. Propinquity (Nesmith) 2.19
17. Uncle Charlie (Fadden) 1.48
18. Randy Lynn Rag (Scruggs) 1.47
19. House At Pooh Corner (Loggins) 2.38
20. Swanee River (Foster) 0.37
21. Uncle Charlie Interview #2 / Spanish Fandango” (Traditional) 2.38
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22. Mississippi Rain (Lottermoser) 3.06
23. What Goes On (Lennon/McCartney/Starkey) 2.14

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Joe Robinson – Christmas au chalet (2021)

FrontCover1Joseph Robert Robinson (born 25 May 1991), is an Australian guitar player and vocalist. A largely self-taught musician from Temagog, NSW, he is best known for his virtuoso guitar abilities and for winning the 2008 season of Australia’s Got Talent.

Robinson was born in Temagog, New South Wales, Australia. He started playing piano at the age of six, only because he was told his fingers were too small to play the guitar. Aged ten, he quit piano and began to play the guitar. He outgrew his guitar teacher in less than 12 months, and started to teach himself from the internet.

When he was eleven years old, Joe began touring with different Australian artists, including Tommy Emmanuel, who became his mentor.

When Robinson was 13, he won the Australian National Songwriting Competition.

In 2006 he recorded his debut album, titled Birdseed, produced by Parris Macleod at Cloud Studios in Wyong, New South Wales.

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At the age of seventeen, Robinson won the Australia’s Got Talent grand finale on 1 July 2008, performing a fingerstyle cover of “Classical Gas.”

In August 2008, Joe travelled to Nashville, Tennessee, and recorded his second album “Time Jumpin” with producer Frank Rogers. “Time Jumpin'” was released in 2009.

On 19 July 2009, Robinson was awarded the 2009 Senior Grand Champion Performer of the World at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles and also won the instrumental category among seniors in the same competition, as well as the male instrumental categories Contemporary, Jazz, Open and Original Works in the class of 16- to 24-year-old con

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In September 2009, he formed the Joe Robinson Electric Project with Sam Marks on drums and Chris Haigh on bass, embarking on an Australian national tour. Joe was the opening act for Australian music icon John Farnham in a series of six consecutive shows at the Burswood Theatre in Perth in October 2009 as part of Farnham’s comeback tour.

After moving to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 18 he was invited to perform at the prestigious Bonnaroo Music Festival in June 2010.

Robinson was named “Best New Talent” in Guitar Player magazine 2010 Reader’s Poll. Lenny Breau and Tommy Emmanuel have inspired him to develop his own harmonic technique.

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In September 2010, he performed at Live on the Green in Nashville, TN, alongside “The Wailers.” Then in November, Robinson began “The Houdini tour” in Europe, traveling through Germany, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Serbia and Italy. From the beginning, Robinson’s concept of this tour was to “escape the expectations” of him as a performer. He added vocal selections and brought along two musicians from the United States, bassist Bernard Harris and drummer Marcus Hill. After the month-long acclaimed European performances, Robinson continued on to Japan for a stint of highly anticipated solo appearances in Tokyo and Osaka through mid-December. His first time in Japan proved to be widely lauded and well received for the 19-year-old musician. From those shows he landed a recording contract with P-Vine Records. Returning to his Australian homeland for the holidays, Robinson resumed his tour on 5 January in Eumundi and ended it on 29 January in Melbourne.

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He spent much of 2011 in the studio recording his third album featuring vocal bass material and a rhythm section Keith Carlock and Michael Rhodes bass. The first single, “Out Alive,” was released in Australia on 2 December 2011 with the full CD “Let Me Introduce You” released through Australian label ABC on 20 January 2012. Robinson toured Australia to promote the release, including a five performances at the Woodford Folk Festival in late December 2011.

In 2012, Robinson released the “Toe Jam”  on which he wrote, produced and played most of the instruments. Upon completion of the EP, Joe and his two musicians, Sam Marks (drums) and Marcelo Bakos (bass guitar) toured the US, headlining shows in New York, Chicago, DC, and Boston. While in Boston, Joe gave a seminar at the prestigious Berklee College of Music.

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He returned to Australia in late 2012 for a series of headline dates and festivals, which included the Festival of the Sun in Port Maquarie, NSW. Robinson released his new EP through the independent distributor MGM to coincide with the tour.

Robinson spent the majority of 2013 touring North America. Headlining clubs all over the North East, as well as stints in Texas and the West Coast. After a short headlining run in China and Japan, he spent most of the summer playing festivals, including Canada ‘s Ottawa Bluesfest (alongside The Black Keys and Dixie Chicks), Nashville’s Live on the Green with Robert Randolph and Fender’s celebration event leading up to the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival at Madison Square Garden.

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In 2014, he released the “Gemini Vol.1” EP,.[18] Although a strong vocal performance carries the EP, it is his driving guitar – a mix of blues, rock, jazz, and R&B all his own – that ties it to his previous releases. Robinson played almost every instrument on the self-produced EP, lending a level of intimacy to the album.

Following up “Gemini Vol.2” was released 31 October 2015. Joe played all the instruments, produced and mixed the 4 song EP.

Touring extensively with his solo show in 2016, Robinson also collaborated with ‘Guitar Army’, a trio of triple threat guitar players, writers and singers; Robinson, Robben Ford and Lee Roy Parnell. (wikipedia)

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And here´s his Christmas album from 2021, “Christmas au chalet” (“Christmas in the chalet”)

For about 2 years, my fiancée Genevieve and I have been trying to secure her a K-1 VISA so we can get married and live in the US – 2020 was a particularly tough year to be not able to see each other because of closed borders—I live in Nashville. In August 2021, I drove up to Canada to visit her and help her with the VISA process and getting moved to Tennessee.

During my three-month stay we visited a small chalet and I realized how much quieter it was than Genevieve’s apartment in the art district of Quebec City. Sitting there in nature I couldn’t put my guitar down. There is something about being away from the hustle and bustle that makes me love playing music so much more! This is the way I grew up in rural Australia.

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After a nice stay in the chalet, we returned to Quebec City and as I was working on my Christmas arrangements I kept thinking how cool it would be to actually record this music in the chalet. So we loaded up my car with enough food for the week, my Maton JR Signature guitar, some high-fidelity recording equipment and a pair of DPA microphones and headed into the Quebec mountains. Because of the cabin’s remoteness, it runs on solar power. It’s a cool setup and was fun routine turning my equipment on to record then switching itall off to not risk running the batteries down. I set about recording 13 Christmas songs over 5 days in October 2021. The weather was absolutely perfect–it was a really special time.(Joe Robinson)

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Joe Robinson, an Australian guitarist, delivers an assortment of familiar Christmas songs — among them “Silent Night,” “Let It Snow” and “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” — with self-effacing virtuosity on “Christmas au Chalet.” His versions are real-time acoustic guitar solos, filled with so much springy counterpoint that sometimes it’s hard to believe he’s playing alone. (nytimes.com)

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Personnel:
Joe Robinson (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Jingle Bell Rock (Beal/Boothe) 2.01
02. Let It Snow (Styne) 2.21
03. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 2.09
04. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (Lennon/Ono) 3.38
05. The Christmas Song(Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) (Wells/Tormé) 2.10
06. Silent Night (Gruber) 2.31
07. Winter Wonderland (Bernard) 2.33
08. We Wish You A Merry Christmas (Traditional) 1.55
09. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree (Marks) 2.00
10. Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 2.39
11. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (Marks) 2.37
12. Silver Bells (Livingston/Evans) 3.01
13. Away In A Manger (Murray) 2.16

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The official website:
Website