Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Go ‘Fishin” for Gold
'Fishin' in the Dark' was a great catch for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band two decades ago, when the single topped the country charts for multiple weeks in 1987. The song continues to sail along as a classic Dirt Band performance, and has given the band its first gold digital download, certified for sales of 500,000 by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). It was released digitally in 2009.
"I think that 'Fishin' in the Dark' became our first gold download because a lot of people identify with the song regarding a good time in their life," Dirt Band member John McEuen tells The Boot. "They can identify with the song; it's about them. I think it relates to people's own lives, rather than 'Mr. Bojangles,' which is a good story song, or 'Long Hard Road,' which is about the singer's life. People who hear the song can go 'Fishin' in the Dark;' they can put themselves in the song."
"'Fishin' in the Dark' seems to have a life of its own and has certainly become a signature song for us over the years," says band member Jeff Hanna. "We love that this song has become a summer anthem and continues to appeal to new audiences year after year."
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band are also celebrating their 40th continuous year as a band in 2011. The group members have influenced many country/rock acts, having recorded the landmark 1972 album, 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken,' which paired the band of "long-haired hippies" from California with some of Nashville's best-known acoustic musicians, including Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Vassar Clements, Mother Maybelle Carter and the original King of Country Music, Roy Acuff. The album proved to be an influential breakthrough for both sides, as the Dirt Band became accepted in the country market and the legendary singers and musicians who participated were introduced to the rock 'n' roll crowd.
In addition to the 2009 release of 'Speed of Light," the Dirt Band continue their critically-acclaimed live shows. Upcoming dates include the Appalachian Uprising Bluegrass Festival in Scottown, Ohio, on June 3 and the Fillmore in San Francisco, on June 25. Keep track of their tour schedule here.