Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two
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|Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two|
|Studio album by|
|Released||May 1, 1989|
|Recorded||December, 1988 and January, 1989|
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
|Nitty Gritty Dirt Band chronology|
Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two (also Circle II) is a 1989 album by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The album follows the same concept as the band's 1972 album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which featured guest performances from many notable country music stars.
Circle II features largely acoustic, bluegrass music instrumentation with a line-up of contemporary country music artists that includes Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Michael Martin Murphey and Ricky Skaggs. Returnees from the first Circle are bluegrass musician Jimmy Martin, banjoist Earl Scruggs, fiddler Vassar Clements and singer Roy Acuff.
The roster of session musicians for the album included many notable performers, including fiddler Mark O'Connor, resonator guitarist Jerry Douglas, banjoist Béla Fleck, guitarist Chet Atkins and bassist Roy Huskey, Jr., son of bassist Junior Huskey, who had played on the first Circle.
Like the first Circle, the album features snippets of studio chatter. In the lead-in to John Denver's song, "And So It Goes", someone asks, "Is this practice?" Denver replies: "They're all practice."
In an intro to the song "Riding Alone", Emmylou Harris summed up her thoughts about relaxed atmosphere of the recording sessions, saying: "Years ago I had the experience of sitting around in a living room with a bunch of people and singing and playing, and it was like a spiritual experience, it was wonderful. And I decided then that was what I was going to do with my life was play music, do music. In the making of records, I think over the years we've all gotten a little too technical, a little too hung up on getting things perfect. We've lost the living room. The living room has gone out of the music, but today I feel like we got it back."
Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two was certified gold in the United States and Canada. The album peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Top Country Album chart and at 95 on the Billboard 200. Singles from the album included John Denver's "And So It Goes", "Turn of the Century", "When It's Gone" and "One Step Over the Line".
It won Grammy Awards in 1990 for Best Bluegrass Recording (for "The Valley Road", with Bruce Hornsby) and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. It also won Album of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards. A documentary film, The Making of Will the Circle Be Unbroken II, was released by Cabin Fever Entertainment.
- "Life's Railway to Heaven" (Traditional, arranged by Johnny Cash) – 4:39
- "Grandpa Was a Carpenter" (John Prine) – 3:24
- Lead vocal and guitar by John Prine
- "When I Get My Rewards" (Paul Kennerley) – 4:25
- Lead vocal by Levon Helm
- "Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan" (Traditional) – 3:56
- "Little Mountain Church House (Jim Rushing, Carl Jackson) – 3:32
- Lead vocal and guitar by Ricky Skaggs
- "And So It Goes" (Paul Overstreet, Don Schlitz) – 3:54
- "When It's Gone" (Jimmie Fadden, Don Schlitz) – 2:34
- Lead vocal by Jimmy Ibbotson
- "Mary Danced With Soldiers" (Kennerley) – 3:07
- Lead vocal and guitar by Emmylou Harris
- "Riding Alone" (Bob Carpenter, Jeff Hanna, Richard Hathaway) – 3:09
- Lead vocals by Bob Carpenter and Emmylou Harris
- "I'm Sitting on Top of the World" (Lonnie Chatmon, Walter Vinson) – 3:10
- Lead vocal and guitar by Jimmy Martin
- "Lovin' on the Side" (Paulette Carlson, Jimmy Ibbotson, Sandy Waltner) – 2:57
- Lead vocal by Paulette Carlson
- "Lost River" (Michael Martin Murphey) – 3:26
- Lead vocal and guitar by Michael Martin Murphey
- "Bayou Jubilee" (Jeff Hanna) – 3:01
- Lead vocal by Jeff Hanna
- "Blues Berry Hill" (Carpenter, Fadden, Hanna, Ibbotson, R. Scruggs) – 3:26
- Instrumental, featuring Randy Scruggs on lead guitar
- "Turn of the Century" (J. Fred Knobloch, Dan Tyler) – 3:39
- Lead vocals by Jimmy Ibbotson (first verse), Jeff Hanna (second verse) and Bob Carpenter (third verse)
- "One Step Over the Line" (John Hiatt) – 4:30
- "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" (Bob Dylan) – 3:53
- "The Valley Road" (Bruce Hornsby) – 4:13
- Lead vocals and piano by Bruce Hornsby
- "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (A. P. Carter/last verse lyrics by Jimmy Ibbotson) – 5:39
- Lead vocals by Johnny Cash (first verse), Roy Acuff (second verse), Ricky Skaggs (third verse), Levon Helm with Emmylou Harris (fourth verse) and Jimmy Ibbotson (fifth verse)
- Backing choir: Roy Acuff, Cynthia Biederman, Sam Bush, Paulette Carlson, Bob Carpenter, Gretchen Carpenter, June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Cindy Cash, Rosanne Cash, John Cowan, Steve Dahl, John Denver, Jimmie Fadden, Béla Fleck, Pat Flynn, Radney Foster, Vince Gill, Jeff Hanna, Melody Hanna, John Hiatt, Chris Hillman, Bruce Hornsby, Jimmy Ibbotson, Helen Carter Jones, David Jones, Bashful Brother Oswald, Bill Lloyd, Jimmy Martin, Michael Martin Murphey, Roger McGuinn, Tracy Nelson, Robert Oermann, Brad Parker, Don Schlitz, Earl Scruggs, Gary Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Steve Scruggs, Lynn Shults, Marty Stuart, Wendy Waldman, Steve Wariner, Cheryl White, Sharon White, Bobbie White
- "Amazing Grace" (John Newton) – 1:48
- Solo guitar, performed by Randy Scruggs
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
- Bob Carpenter – Piano, accordion, harmony vocals
- Jimmie Fadden – Drums, harmonica
- Jeff Hanna – Guitar, washboard, harmony vocals
- Jimmy Ibbotson – Mandolin, harmony vocals
- Jerry Douglas – Resonator guitar
- Roy Huskey, Jr. – Upright bass
- Mark O'Connor – Fiddle, mandolin
- Randy Scruggs – Producer, guitar
- Vassar Clements – Fiddle on "Sittin' on Top of the World"
- Béla Fleck – Banjo on "Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan", "Little Mountain Church House" and "Sittin' on Top of the World"
- Bernie Leadon – Banjo on "The Valley Road" and "Blues Berry Hill"
- John McEuen – Banjo on "Lost River"
- Earl Scruggs – Banjo on "Life's Railway to Heaven"
- Buck White – Piano on "Little Mountain Church House"
|U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums||5|
|U.S. Billboard 200||95|
|Canadian RPM Country Albums||3|
|Canadian RPM Top Albums||57|