The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Announces Farewell Tour

It is the end of an era, and at a time when the eras of other legendary country bands and artists are coming to a close here in 2024. After six decades in the service of country and roots music, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is calling the touring life quits, announcing a farewell tour spanning through 2024.

From folk rock at their inception, to bluegrass revivalists in the ’70s, to country radio hitmakers in the ’80s, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band have just about done it all, and in a way that has been revered and wildly influential throughout music.

Jerry Jeff Walker may have written “Mr. Bojangles,” but it was the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band that popularized the song and had a hit with it in 1970. Formed in 1966 in Long Beach, California, they were part of the emerging folk rock scene, though soon found favor with country as well, putting together a diverse catalog of American roots music that’s one of the most formidable and revered in history.

The band perhaps released their pinnacle contribution to country with 1972’s Will The Circle Be Unbroken. Criticized by some previously for not taking the roots of country music seriously, the landmark album saw appearances by country and bluegrass legends such as Roy Acuff, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Mother Maybelle Carter, Jimmy Martin, and many more. The album became like a road map for many folk and rock fans to find their way into country, as well as a bridging together of two generations of performers.

In the 1980s, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band became mainstays in popular country, landing 15 Top 10 hits in a row, including three #1s: “Long Hard Road,” “Modern Day Romance,” and one of their signature songs, “Fishin’ In The Dark.” These many accomplishments have led to some considering that the band should be in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The final remaining constant members of the band have been singer and guitarist Jeff Hanna, as well as drummer Jimmie McFadden. Multi-instrumentalist John McEuen was also with the band for the first 20 years, and then rejoined the band in 2001 before leaving again in 2017.

The farewell tour is being dubbed “All The Good Times.” No specific reason for calling it quits has been given. A statement from the band reads,

“‘All the Good Times’ perfectly describes our career. Playing our music for Dirt Band fans all over the world has been an incredible experience for us. The most important part of that has been the connection to our audience — that beautiful communal give and take is like nothing else. That’s the very spirit we’ll be celebrating as we head into our farewell tour. We’re really looking forward to seeing you folks. Good times will be had by all!”

The current lineup of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band also includes keyboard player Bob Carperter who’s been with the band since 1979, as well as bass player Jim Photoglo, Ross Holmes on fiddle and mandolin, and Jaime Hanna on guitar and vocals. Part of the farewell tour also coincides with opening slots for Hank Williams Jr. and Jason Isbell, speaking to the widespread appeal and influence of the band’s tenure.

The news comes as multiple performers have been announcing their retirement from touring, including Joe Bonsall of The Oak Ridge Boys, and John Michael Montgomery.

Ticket sales for the first leg of the tour will start Friday at 10 a.m. local time, with VIP packages available.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Farewell Tour Dates:

March 21 – Bowling Green, Ky. – SKyPAC – Main Hall
March 22 – Bloomington, Ill. – Bloomington Center For The Performing Arts
March 23 – Mount Vernon, Ky. – Renfro Valley Entertainment Center
March 24 – Marietta, Ohio – Peoples Bank Theatre
March 28 – Odessa, Texas – The Ector Theatre
March 29 – Abilene, Texas – Outlaws and Legends Music Festival
March 30 – Houston, Texas – Arena Theatre
April 25 – Shreveport, La. – The Strand Theatre
April 28 – Oxford, Ala. – Oxford Performing Arts Center
May 9 – Indianapolis, Ind. – Murat Theatre
May 10 – Harris, Mich. – Island Resort & Casino
May 11 – Harris, Mich. – Island Resort & Casino
May 12 – Joliet, Ill. – Rialto Square Theatre
May 17 – Raleigh, N.C. – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek*
May 18 – Bristow, Va. – Jiffy Lube Live*
May 19 – Knoxville, Tenn. – Tennessee Theatre
June 21 – Mankato, Minn. – Vetter Stone Amphitheater 
June 22 – Cedar Rapids, Iowa – McGrath Amphitheatre 
June 23 – Bayfield, Wisc. – Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua 
June 27 – Sioux Falls, S.D. – Alliance Center 
June 28 – Mahnomen, Minn. – Shooting Star Casino Hotel & Event Center
June 29 – Bismarck, N.D. – Belle Mehus Auditorium
June 30 – Dauphin, MB, Canada – Dauphin’s Countryfest
July 11 – Mayetta, Kan. – Prairie Band Casino & Resort – Great Lakes Ballroom
July 12 – Jefferson City, Mo. – Capital Region MU Health Care Amphitheater
July 13 – Newkirk, OK – 7 Clans First Council Casino 
July 25 – Lubbock, TX – The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences – Helen DeVitt Jones Theater
July 26 – New Braunfels, TX – Whitewater Amphitheater#
July 27 – Fort Worth, TX – Bass Performance Hall
July 28 – Amarillo, TX – Globe-News Center For The Performing Arts
September 14 – Kansas City, MO – T-Mobile Center *

* with Hank Williams, Jr.
# with Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit

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