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The Dirt Band & Bonnie Raitt

Celebrating 50 Years of Concerts at the WVU Coliseum
April 23, 1980

The Dirt Band
with Special Guest Bonnie Raitt

The Dirt Band. Bonnie Raitt in concert
A member of The Dirt Band playing harmonica at the Coliseum in 1980. From the Monticola.
Jimmie Fadden plays harmonica. From the Monticola.
SHOW DATE: Wednesday, April 23, 1980 • 8:15pm
The Colorado-based Nitty Gritty Dirt Band had been performing together for 14 years when they dropped the first two words from their name and changed their musical approach to formulaic pop music. It was under this new name that they performed at the Coliseum in April 1980.

Their pop resurgence was fueled by their singles “An American Dream” and “Make a Little Magic.” Those singles also found traction on the country chart, setting the stage for a major run at country radio. The band secured 16 Top 10 country hits between 1983 and 1990, including three No. 1 singles: “Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper’s Dream),” “Modern Day Romance,” and “Fishin’ in the Dark.”

The Dirt Band remains one of the most accomplished bands in American roots music.

Now Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Bonnie Raitt opened the 1980 show at the Coliseum. According to a review in "The Daily Athenaeum," the concert was worthy of five stars. "Both bands were charged up and smokin' and the crowd danced and screamed like we'd just beaten Penn State in football," wrote the reviewer.

The review went to call Raitt's performance "superb" and noting that the highlight of her set was "Give It Up," which included "some delightful tuba work by her bassist." 

Raitt joined The Dirt Band in their encore of "Will the Circle be Unbroken" to close the show.
Bonnie Raitt on stage at the Coliseum in 1980. From the Monticola.
From the Monticola.
Members of The Dirt Band perform in 1980
From the Monticola.