Country-rock legend to perform at Victoria Theatre

John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band presents an acoustic concert with his solo band at Victoria Theatre in Dayton on Thursday, Jan. 26. CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band presents an acoustic concert with his solo band at Victoria Theatre in Dayton on Thursday, Jan. 26. CONTRIBUTED

​Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band forming in Long Beach, Calif. John McEuen is grateful to reach that milestone, but he’s more concerned about the present, which includes the new solo album, “Made in Brooklyn,” and his upcoming concert at the Victoria Theatre in Dayton on Thursday, Jan. 26.

“The band does a limited number of dates, and I like to perform so I do solo dates, too,” McEuen said. “I like to do new music as well as some classic Nitty Gritty music that people haven’t heard on the stage in many years but have wanted to. I get to go out and tell the story of the early band with a multimedia show with video and stills. You’ll see where it all came from, along with the music that goes along with that.”

“Made in Brooklyn,” McEuen’s first project for Chesky Records, is an all-acoustic album featuring Steve Martin, David Bromberg, John Carter Cash and other special guests.

“This was a group of people I put on my wish list over the years that I’d want to make a special album with,” he said. “For this, I asked people to go with me and let me be the quarterback. We’re all a team but I know the play we should run on this one. They all did what I asked. We did it and it was exciting.

“Chesky is the best record company I’ve ever been with as far as getting answers and cooperation and putting in time,” McEuen said. “Just doing the record was a great experience. Norman Chesky said, ‘You’re in charge.’ They let me do whatever I wanted. It was a perfect storm of events of people with the time and the abilities to do it.”

Solo performances also allow McEuen more freedom than his Nitty Gritty Dirt Band concerts.

“It’s not like I’m Bon Jovi or somebody, but there’s a good 50-year career there,” he said. “It would be hard to replicate that in a concert but this is stretching out beyond that. Being in a group is a good thing but the solo shows are more of a challenge and it’s more fun. It’s the most fun I’ve had.

“A lot of people like what goes on when I do these shows away from the Dirt Band,” McEuen added. “It’s fun to go out and put a show together that’s not just one type of situation. I think I’m the best me I’ve ever been.”


WANT TO GO?

What: John McEuen and Friends present Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Where: Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26

Cost: $25-$40

More info: 937-228-3630 or www.ticketcenterstage.com

Artist info: www.johnmceuen.com

About the Author