"Americana" is a handle that's bandied about quite a bit, but few musicians put it into practice like John McEuen. Just over 45 years ago, he helped assemble some of the living legends of country,
While the majority of McEuen's 50-year career has been chiefly devoted to the Dirt Band, he often ventured beyond the realms of his day job to enjoy a solo excursion. Made In Brooklyn (Chesky, 2016), McEuen's latest
McEuen says the album reflects Circle's original spirit and spontaneity, proving that, despite its age and origins, great music never goes out of style. He says his intent was to use the album's best elements, along with the things he learned in the Dirt Band, to take the listener on a musical journey. "I told the other players that this was going to be like us making our own Circle."
This is the second time McEuen has looped back to a solo career, which is how he started. "I toured solo even before the Dirt Band
In 1986, after playing with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band since its founding, he took a lengthy
Since rejoining the Dirt Band in 2001, McEuen has divided his time between touring with the group, performing solo, hosting his show The Acoustic Traveller on Sirius radio and serving as CEO of syndicatednews.net, a news organization he describes as "a combination of The Whole Earth Catalog, Rolling
For all his extracurricular activities, it's clear McEuen loves nothing more than performing. "One of the interesting things about this situation—I think they call it a job—is that it's more fun than ever," he said in a 2014 interview. "People appreciate the fact that you're still around and not necessarily trying to prove anything. I've played shows with the Dirt Band in front of 8,000 people and shows with only 60 people on my own. Either way, it's always fun.
"I got a job called 'playing.' I always tell people, 'You're paying me to get here. I play for free.'"