A co-founder of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, multi-instrumentalist John McEuen was a mainstay of the Southern California bluegrass and country-rock scenes... He was a prolific sideman, playing on countless albums over the years. He's also a longtime friend and frequent collaborator with Steve Martin, who he has worked with him on numerous projects. Here's a quick look at McEuen's solo work...
John McEuen "String Wizard's Picks" (Vanguard, 1997)
John McEuen "Vanguard Visionaries" (Vanguard, 2007)
John McEuen "John McEuen" (Warner Brothers, 1985)
(Produced by John McEuen)
His first solo album, recorded with a bunch of his buddies and likeminded cohorts. It's a fun album with a vibe that will be familiar fans of early Guy Clark and McEuen's own eclectic ouvre. Side One has a bunch of fun songs, including two Guy Clark covers ("Fool In The Mirror" and "She's Crazy For Leavin' ") a nice version of "Blue Days, Black Nights" and the novelty song, "Fly Trouble," all of which would be great in an alt-country mix. Side Two is mostly all-instrumental material, some of it with a goofy, playful bent, including a Bach-bluegrass crossover and a cover of Santo & Johnny's "Sleepwalk." There's also a tale-tale recitation about an epic fiddle contest, a track that stands out like a sore thumb, but I suppose might make a "good" segue with "The Devil Went Down To Georgia," but otherwise is pretty skippable. Still, this record has a nice feel, and is certainly worth checking out. Among the backing musicians are the core members of David Grisman's old "dawg music" crew -- David Grisman, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, Mark O'Connor, et.al. -- along with some interesting folks singing in the background, like David Allan Coe, Lacy J. Dalton, Dennis Wilson and some of the dudes from the Oak Ridge Boys. And it all sounds like a big party in the studio... Definitely worth a spin!
John McEuen "String Wizards" (Vanguard, 1991)
John McEuen "String Wizards II" (Vanguard, 1993)
John McEuen "Acoustic Traveller" (Vanguard, 1996)
John McEuen "Round Trip: Live In L.A." (Cedar Glen, 1999)
John McEuen & Jimmy Ibbotson "Stories And Songs" (Planetary, 2000)
John McEuen & Jimmy Ibbotson "Nitty Gritty Surround" (Aix, 2002) (DVD)
John McEuen "The McEuen Sessions: For All The Good" (MesaBlue, 2012)
Hick Music Index