In 1999, BGO reissued the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 1978 and 1979 albums, The Dirt Band and American Dream, as a CD two-fer. These were the first two (of three) albums they recorded as the Dirt Band, which is what they renamed themselves when they were diminished to the trio of Jeff Hanna, John McEuen, and Jimmie Fadden, who rebuilt them as a Californian soft rock outfit. That's the key to these two albums -- those who are too attached to the sound of Will the Circle Be Unbroken will find this too slick, but those who prefer Californian soft rock will be glad these two underappreciated records have finally made their way to CD. Neither record is perfect -- the instrumentals don't quite work, for instance, and the boogie numbers on American Dream aren't great -- but they're both very appealing, thanks to the highly polished, stylized production and a good set of songs highlighted by their hit version of Rodney Crowell's "An American Dream." The rest of these two records delivers on the promise of that single, so if you enjoyed the hit, this is certainly worth seeking out.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine