Full Title: Will The Circle Be Unbroken: The Trilogy.
WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN: THE TRILOGY contains WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN
(1972)/WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN VOLUME II (1989)/WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN VOLUME III (2002). This release also includes a bonus DVD.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band includes: Jimmy Ibbotson, Jeff Hanna, Bob Carpenter, John McEuen, Jimmie Fadden, Les Thompson.
Additional personnel includes: Maybelle Carter (vocals, guitar, autoharp); Merle Travis, Del McCoury, Doc Watson, Jimmy Martin, Iris Dement, Dwight Yoakam, Jaime Hanna, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash, Matraca Berg, Vince Gill, John Prine, Michael Martin Murphey, John Hiatt, Taj Mahal (vocals, guitar); Roger McGuinn (vocals, 12-string guitar); Levon Helm, Sam Bush, Ricky Scaggs (vocals, mandolin); June Carter Cash (vocals, autoharp); Alison Krauss (vocals, fiddle); Bruce Hornsby (vocals, piano); Rosanne Cash, The Carter Family, Roy Acuff, John Denver, Paulette Carlson (vocals); Chet Atkins, Richard Watson, Earl Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Tony Rice (guitar); Bela Fleck (banjo); Jerry Douglas (dobro); Mark O'Connor (mandolin, mandola, fiddle); Vassar Clements (fiddle).
Producers: William E. McEuen, Randy Scruggs, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN (1972) ultimately had the same kind of effect that the O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? soundtrack album would have more than two-and-a-half decades later. That is to say, it crossed the sounds and artists of bluegrass and old-school country over to mainstream pop/rock audiences. This was due largely to the tenacity of country-rockers the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, who masterminded the project, accompanying the artists whose music had inspired them. Thus, the work of Jimmy Martin, Merle Travis, Doc Watson, and others was introduced to the Dirt Band's young, rock-oriented audience.
The TRILOGY box set combines that album with its 1989 and 2002 sequels, over the course of five discs (the sixth is a DVD). Volume II introduces a couple of more contemporary performers (Bruce Hornsby, John Hiatt) but still features plenty of country vets (Jimmy Martin, Johnny Cash) and early-'70s-vintage artists (Levon Helm, John Prine). The third installment features less traditional material, but no less of an authentic roots feel, as Del McCoury and Willie Nelson rub elbows with Dwight Yoakam and Tom Petty. Crossing generations and genre lines, the CIRCLE series is a stunning summit meeting of American music, and as presented in this box set, it's both invigorating and gripping from start to finish.