A broad spectrum of music Americana, with a bit of "the old country" music thrown in for good measure, has made John McEuen known as America's instrumental poet. His musical impressions from over 30 years of worldwide travels are brought to the stage with performing expertise that sets him apart from others, and focuses on acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin.

A founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in summer of 1966, after 21 years began to broaden his artistic pursuits. Multi-instrumentalist McEuen ventured into varied musical genres, taking his music and other talents to different formats including television specials, film scoring, unusual award winning CDs and concert production while keeping up an active road schedule both solo and (as of 2002) again with his lifetime partners in music.

Onstage, McEuen incorporates his vintage instruments which he has taken to international venues, with instrumental wizardry that keeps the audience entranced, whether he is entertaining them live or via CD.

His love for the history of acoustic music and his joy at being onstage is evident to all those who see him and hear him . . . there's never a dull moment when McEuen is on!

With his band, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, he has made over 30 albums, including the platinum-selling Will The Circle Be Unbroken, which was instigated by John and and conceived by the band's manager/producer (John's brother) Bill McEuen in 1971 for United Artists.


Tune in to John McEuen's
Acoustic Traveller Show on
XM Satellite Radio
XM Satellite Radio
The Village, ch. 15
(all times eastern)
first Tuesday of the
month at noon,
then the following
Friday at midnight.

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Indisputably "one of the most important recordings ever come out of Nashville" (Rolling Stone, 1972) "...Circle..." is recognized today as a country music milestone and integral part of Americana history and was called by the 2004 Zagat survey "the most important album in Country Music"

The music John performs today evolved from early inspiration from seeing The Dillards in his native Southern California, and music he made going down that early road with various artists, including Jose Feliciano and Michael Martin Murphey (prior to the formation of NGDB). Then, in 1966, "a bunch of guys playing together at McCabe's Guitar Shop (where John was teaching banjo at the time) in Long Beach, California, joined forces to form The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. McEuen perform with them, playing everything from "folk to rock to country ..." All this has led him to continuing recent successes in new frontiers. John is still touring with the Dirt Band today - the group is coming up on 40 years since that beginning!

John McEuen produced the "Nitty Gritty Surround" DVD for AIX Records, which was recorded in 96/24/5.1 format and filmed with 5 cameras. This award winning release again finds John breaking new ground as a producer and an artist.

This wonderful package includes backstage footage, musicians background information, and interviews with the great line up of artists and cast of stellar pickers backing up Jennifer Warnes, Laurie Lewis/Tom Rozum, John's son, Jonathan McEuen, Rick Cunha, Tom Corbett, Randy Tico and Jim Christie.

Visit John's Video Gallery for video clips of
music and live interviews from the DVD.

(See for info about production of the DVD)

Tune in to John McEuen's
Acoustic Traveller Show on
XM Satellite Radio
XM Satellite Radio
The Village, ch. 15
(all times eastern)
first Tuesday of the
month at noon,
then the following
Friday at midnight,
Sat. at 6 p.m.and
Monday at 6 a.m.

John McEuen is known to a wide spectrum of music fans from working with a diverse group of people throughout his career. Name somebody in show business and he's probably got a story to tell about them! He has performed or recorded with Dolly Parton, Andy Williams, The Doors, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Bill Wyman, Johnny Cash, Little River Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Air Supply, Doobie Brothers, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Robert Schimmel, Stephen Wright, The Smothers Brothers, Rowan & Martin, Little Richard . . . Mary Chapin Carpenter, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Clint Eastwood, Robert Schimmel, Dizzy Gillespie, The Band, Crystal Gayle, Tammy Wynette, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, Leon Russell, Vassar Clements, Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Albert Gore, Hootie and the Blowfish, Phish, Mary McCaslin... the list goes on.

Initially, searching for a path to showbiz in 1965, McEuen booked Bob Dylan for a show that sold out at a high school in Southern California. Later, by 1970, he convinced his brother to also manage high school buddy Steve Martin, who John had worked with in Disneyland's Magic Shop (Steve learned his musicianship on the banjo from John). In the 80's John brought Mark O'Connor to Warner Brothers Records, he took Marty Stuart out on the road with him as a sideman, he introduced the Dirt Band audience to many now nationally known musicians by incorporating them in band shows often.

In his career so far John McEuen has:

  • Flown 2 million miles and driven a million miles.
  • Done over 10,000 interviews and over 300 television performances.
  • Produced numerous television shows.
  • As an interviewer, interviewed diverse personalities from Malcolm Forbes to Emmylou Harris.
  • Played over 5,000 shows around the world.

John's last Vanguard release, "The Best of... " String Wizard's Picks showcases just how he manages to enchant his audience with a gypsy melody one minute and then charm them with his magician's touch on a bit of county/Salsa or music that rides the wind on the western plains. It is also one of the first and only enhanced acoustic music CDS, featuring 15 minutes of video footage complementing the 52 minutes of music on the cd in CD ROM format (for PC or MAC).

"Picks" Featuring 13 songs chosen from his previous Vanguard albums and a hot new live cut recorded with his full band of String Wizards: 21 year old hot guitarist/vocalist son, Jonathan; Randy Tico (acoustic bass); Phil Salazar (fiddle); and Tom Corbett (mandolin, guitar), Jesse Siebenberg (percussion), this cd captures the essence of John's studio work and production finesse.

On his producer side John is especially proud of his 90 minute video documentary on The Dillards - A Night in the Ozarks, which captures the Dillards at their hottest in a reunion of the original group in 1991. Shot on film with live music, (Mike Denecke engineered) in a Salem Missouri farmhouse, this is "the best bluegrass movie ever made!"

Conceived by John in 1990, The Deadwood Jam, held annually in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is a hot two day festival type show in the historic town made famous by Wild Bill Hickock - Deadwood, So. Dakota. This 'Telluride' style event has featured some of America's best known music acts. Hosted by McEuen and starting at high-noon in front of the saloon where Wild Bill played his last hand, The Jam has earned the reputation of the best music festival in its three state area (Wyoming, Nebraska, and So. Dakota.)

McEuen's award winning production of Chief Jim Billie - Alligator Tales made considerable impact on the Native American music market. Jim Billie"s true stories and songs are based on his life and impressions of living in his Everglades homeland on the Big Cypress reservation in southern Florida. The subsequent enchanting Seminole Fire features John's scoring and production, backing the chief, telling the never recorded before legends of the Seminole.

John's first live CD Round Trip - with the L.A. string "Round Trip" pays homage to his early influences: Doc Watson, Don Reno, Merle Travis, Earl Scruggs, Douglas Dillard, and Bill Monroe. John has combined these influences and developed his own unique styles over the years.

John has traveled the world America's as instrumental poet, influenced by all those who came through the L.A. area venues in '60's as well as those met in his extensive travels. He came back to Pasadena and Santa Monica in 1999 with his hot band and collections of memories and music reflecting those travels. Round Trip showcases the stellar talents of some of California's best acoustic musicians, and features the hot musicianship and vocals of his son Jonathan. Phil Salazar (fiddle), Randy Tico (bass), Jonathan McEuen (guitar & astonishing vocals), Bryan Savage (sax), Jesse Siebenberg (drums) and Tom Corbett (mandolin) make up the String Wizards, and on Round Trip they "bring it all home".

Check out some of John's "road stories" on the website for a preview of the upcoming book by John.

Look for the following productions:

"Nitty Gritty Surround" - John McEuen and Jimmy Ibbotson with Jennifer Warnes, Laurie Lewis, and the String Wizards featuring Jonathan McEuen, in award winning 96/24/5.1 surround - DVD

Manassas: End of Innocence (a civil war documentary) playing at Manassas Battlefield Park, VA

Paul Williams - DVD production released fall of 2007 (produced by John) on this great American writer.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Songbook and Photo album...


Music Scores:
Manassas: End of Innocence
dir. by Ben Burtt

The Good Old Boys

TNT (dir. by Tommy Lee Jones)
Love From Ground Zero
Independent/Sandbox Films
An Actor's Life for Me
Alan Arkin (Dir.)
The Man Outside
Virgin Vision/HBO
The Wild West
Warner Bros. (10 hour Emmy nominated mini-series)

The Music of the Wild West

TNN - one hour Special Braving Alaska NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY (Emmy nomination)
Wild And Crazy Guy
Steve Martin - NBC Special
Comedy Is Not Pretty
Steve Martin - NBC Special
TNN (6 part series)

Television Productions:

The Music of the Wild West
Star/Writer/Exec. Producer - TNN
John McEuen and Friends
A Night in the Ozarks
Return to Dismal Swamp
Music Video
Miner's Night Out
Music Video
Rocky MT. Opry
The Deadwood, S.D. commercial
Silver Star Houston Film Festival
"Bluegrass Festival" Soundstage
(PBS) exec. prod./star
Against The Wind
Aspen Film Society/Paramount

Welcome to Woody Creek
Nitty Gritty Surround -
John McEuen w/ Jennifer Warnes & Jim Ibbotson
('best of 2002' DVD winner) DVD AIX Records
Round Trip
Chrome Records
Stories and Songs
with Jim Ibbotson Planetary Records
Acoustic Traveller
Vanguard Records
String Wizards
Vanguard Records
String Wizards II
Vanguard Records (Grammy nominated)
The Best of John McEuen
Vanguard Records
The Music of the Wild West
Aspen Recording Society (winner - Western Heritage Award - Best Traditional Album )
Will the Circle Be Unbroken
United Artists
Will the Circle Be Unbroken II
Capitol (Grammy winner)
Will the Circle Be Unbroken III
Capitol (2 Grammy nom.)
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
28 albums(4 gold, 3 platinum)
Guest appearances
on other recordings:
Steve Martin Brothers
Warner Bros.
Michael Martin Murphy
(5 albums) Warner Bros.
Long Hard Ride
Marshall Tucker
Monkey Grip
Bill Wyman
Family and Friends
Earl Scruggs

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