Beaver Dam Amphitheater is set to kick off their summer concert series in a big way beginning May 11. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with special guest Dan Tyminski are first in line to open up the venue for the summer season.
Originating in 1966, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has essentially “never stopped touring,” per frontman Jeff Hanna. Hanna launched his career with the group in Long Beach, California and has been entertaining fans since.
“Our music is really Americana, or roots music,” Hanna said. “Our influences range from Doc Watson to Flatt and Scruggs to Levon Helm and the Band. We have somewhat of an eclectic sound.”
Acclaimed as one of the most accomplished groups in “roots” music history, the band has achieved success after success throughout a career spanning over the past 50 plus years.
“It’s ironic that none of this music was in our blood,” Hanna said. “We just really, really, loved it. So we took bits and pieces of this and that, and created a sound all our own.”
In addition to lead singer Jeff Hanna, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is composed of members Jimmie Fadden, Bob Carpenter, Jim Photoglo, Ross Holmes and Jaime Hanna. Unique to the group is that all six members sing. This diverse component creates an authentic harmony that only adds to the powerful legacy established by the band throughout the decades.
Best known for such hits as “Mr. Bojangles” and “Fishing in the Dark” the band has collaborated and recorded with some of the most beloved and influential recording artists in music history. Considered a landmark recording, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” a three-disc album released in 1972, brought the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to the forefront of country music stardom. Infusing traditional sound with a fresh new twist, the young group forged friendships with some of their heroes like Mother Maybelle Carter and Roy Acuff. A feat of this caliber was unimaginable during this era, especially for a gaggle of “long-haired hippies,” as Jeff Hanna says.
“We had a lot to prove, and we set out to prove it from day one,” Hanna recalls. “It was a beautiful thing to set down with giants like Doc Watson and Jimmy Martin and be on the same page, it changed so much for us.”
Still as true to their sound as they were during its origin, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will be a gig concertgoers won’t want to miss in nearby Beaver Dam.
Dan Tyminski who is set to open for the group has achieved his own fair share of success as well. Praised for his rendition of “Man of Constant Sorrow,” which was featured in the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” Tyminski is also best known for his talents within Bluegrass music as a composer, vocalist and instrumentalist. Touring with Alison Krauss and Union Station for a number of years, Tyminski is a renowned performer earning 14 Grammys total for solo and collaborative projects.
“Dan has such a seasoned voice, I love his sound,” Hanna said. “He has such an authenticity, we’re excited to have him with us.”
Given the history of the band, and the atmosphere an outdoor venue provides, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is certain to deliver a memorable show in neighboring Ohio County.
“Great music is still out there, you just have to dig a little deeper to find it,” Hanna said. “We hope to showcase that greatness in all we do.”
For more information on upcoming events at the Beaver Dam Amphitheater visit www.beaverdamtourism.com