American pop culture is filled with many worthwhile ideas bludgeoned by repetition, so any suspicion of Will the Circle... Read More
Be Unbroken: Volume 2 is understandable. But on this record the members of the Dirt Band rethink their placement in the country-meets-rock and old-meets-new equations and, for the most part, triumph. Instead of shining the light on under-acknowledged older performers, they're trying to turn on their considerable following to the new breed.
Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume 2 is a double record that includes appearances by such notables as Chet Atkins, Johnny and Roseanne Cash, John Denver, Emmylou Harris, Levon Helm, John Hiatt, Chris Hillman, Bruce Hornsby, Roger McGuinn, Michael Martin Murphey, New Grass Revival, John Prine, Paulette Carlson of Highway 101 and Ricky Skaggs. From the first album; Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs and Jimmy Martin make return visits, as does fiddler Vassar Clements. The rockers, especially John Hiatt and Levon Helm, bring the most to the assemblage, with rough performances that crash through the veneer of reverence covering many of the other tracks.
Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume 2 may have less of a cultural impact than its predecessor. It is scaled down, and the return to the roots the first record advocated has thankfully already happened. This isn't history, but it is an outstanding affirmation of faith in music, and that never goes out of style. (RS 552)