John McEuen to grace Glenwood Adventure Park stage Friday night |

John McEuen to grace Glenwood Adventure Park stage Friday night

Jeff Bear
Post Independent

If You go...

What: John McEuen and the String Wizards

When: Tonight, 8 p.m.

Where: Glenwood Carverns Adventure Park

Tickets: $25,

John McEuen, the former and founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, will bring his considerable talent to the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park stage tonight as part of the park’s Music on the Mountain concert series.

McEuen will perform with The String Wizards, an enormously talented group that includes former Nitty Gritty Dirt Band members Les Thompson on bass, vocals and bouzouki and John Cable on guitar and vocals, along with Matt Cartsonis, a 25-year music partner of McEuen’s who will perform on guitar, mandola and vocals.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band recorded 30 albums, including three platinum and five gold; has 20 Top 20 hits; and won a Grammy Award, six Grammy nominations, one Country Music Award, five Country Music Award nominations and one International Bluegrass Music Award.

McEuen and the String Wizards will, of course, dive into the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s extensive catalogue of songs which included “Mr. Bojangles,” and “Fishin in the Dark,” along with some bluegrass and country classics.

“We’re beyond excited to bring this caliber of entertainment not just to Glenwood Springs, but to our venue on top of Iron Mountain,” said Bob Stepniewski, food and entertainment manager for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

“John McEuen is a legend whose music is woven into the history of our country. This is going to be a very special night at the park.”

McEuen first earned his reputation as a world-class multi-instrumentalist more than 50 years ago playing the banjo, guitar, mandolin and washtub bass with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

He stayed with the band from 1966 to 1986 before stepping away to pursue a solo career that included four albums, composing music for movies and television, and sitting in as a guest musician with artists including Michael Martin Murphey. He rejoined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 2001 and stayed until the band completed its 50th anniversary tour in 2017.

In 1972, with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band aiming to return to its country roots after a brief foray into electric country-rock, McEuen asked country legends Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson if they would record with the band. The result was the classic triple album “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” which the band recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, with Scruggs and Watson, along with other Nashville stalwarts including Roy Acuff, Jimmy Martin, Mother Maybelle Carter, Merle Travis and Norman Blake.

In 1976, McEuen and The Dirt Band became the first American group to tour the Soviet Union, playing 28 sold-out shows and making a television appearance that was watched by an estimated 145 million people.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is selling 400 tickets to the event, which are available for $25 each at The gondola opens at 7 p.m., and the band takes the stage at 8 p.m. No outside food or drink are allowed. The park’s rides and attractions will be closed during the event, but food and drinks will be available at the Lookout Grille and Snack Shack.

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