Friends and fans around the mid-Atlantic region may have noticed that Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders have essentially been on hiatus for the last year or so. Their bandmate, founding Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member Les Thompson has essentially been touring full time with his old friend and bandmate John McEuen, bringing their multimedia retrospective Circle Revisited Tour all across North America.
Les left NGDB in 1973 after their double platinum Will the Circle be Unbroken collaboration album was released. While John stayed with NGDB up to and through their 2017 50th anniversary tour, since then he's been devoting most of his touring energy to the Circle Revisited show, with Les an intergral part of the band on bass and bouzouki. It is indeed a blessing to see Les enjoying the touring and the accolades he long ago earned, once again walking out on stage with great friends night after night in front of hundreds of adoring country and bluegrass fans in beautiful theaters all across the land!
And it is certainly a far cry from how one might imagine "rock stardom"! Hauling gear through airports, scrambling from one flight to another, driving rental cars several hours after show to get to the next airport. It is vigorous activity for young men in their early 70s.
As for his BB bandmates, Lisa Stephanie and Andrew have been starting to do some trio shows when Les is unavailable. They will be doing a set at the Spirit of the Valley Festival in Harrisonburg VA October 28 along with newgrass greats Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Town Mountain and the Howlin' Brothers. We are hoping that the full band with Les will do a video webcast from the studio late this year as well. Stay tuned for that!
Meanwhile, don't miss Les and John and the band if they will be nearby (check the tour calendar)! It is an amazing experience to hear those old folk songs for sure, but to see the pictures and hear outtakes from the Circle recording sessions along with the legends of roots music like Doc Watson, Merle Travis and Mother Maybelle Carter is an experience to which you should treat yourself.