Sunday Jams: Chillin’ with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Those who remember the 1970s will know things were also pretty lean, like now, but as a kid growing up in a multigenerational home with little money, I wasn’t as aware of this as I could have been.

This is because we knew how to armchair travel and enjoy the simple things. When I hear some of the laid-back bands of the 1970s, like the California country- rockers Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (who we had on cutting edge 8-track), it reminds me of the importance of keeping those dreams going.

“American Dream” was one of the perfect songs of the time, and fits well today. It reminds us we all need to escape sometimes, but that “exotic getaway” is also what we make it:

The band’s most notable hit in their early years may have been “Mr. Bojangles” in 1970, but I’ve always preferred their “Jamaican” escape tune. They may not have always been in the main spotlight, but they continue to create and perform since their formation in the last 1960s.

They just have a sound that brings everyone together. Another big feel-good hit in the 1980s was with their “Baby’s Got a Hold on Me” around the time they were celebrating their 20th anniversary. More uptempo than “American Dream,” it is still an ode to a couple ready to enjoy each other and life:

We’ve got a full tank of gas, lookin’ for a thrill
A three day weekend, lot of time to kill
Put the top down but we’re never gonna freeze
‘Cause baby’s got a hold on me

Yeah, we need more of that vibe.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is still rolling out some easy going sounds, and just this last month they released a collection of their covers of Bob Dylan tunes, Dirt Does Dylan. Check out their feel-good rendition of “Forever Young”:

The weekend will be over before you know it, take some time to close your eyes and embark on your dream journey, even if you can’t physically get there right now.

God bless you all this Memorial Day weekend, and keep your hopes and dreams flowing.

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