The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with David Lee Murphy Come Home to H-SC

Sydney Henriques ’15, Staff Writer

As Homecoming fast approaches this weekend, we welcome The Nitty Gritty Dirt band and David Lee Murphy on Hampden-Sydney’s Campus.  From a general consensus from interviewing students around campus, there are mixed responses about the bands: many excited, many vaguely knowing the bands. So, I’ll give a brief overview.

 The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founded in 1966 in Long Beach, California, gained success with their first Top 40 song: “Buy for Me the Rain.”  In 1989, they received the CMA award for Album of the Year, Grammy award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals, and a Grammy award for Best Bluegrass Recording. Also, in 2005, they received a Grammy award for Best Country Instrumental.

 David Lee Murphy, who may be best known for his Number One hit in 1994, “Dust on the Bottle,” will also accompany the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. One of his other big hits was “Just Once,” included on the soundtrack to the movie 8 Seconds. Murphy has also co-written singles for other artists such as: Kenny Chesney (“Living in Fast Forward), Jason Aldean (“Big Green Tractor”), and Thompson Square (Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not”).

 These artists are not the most well known in our day and age, but they were popular when many of our alumni attended Hampden-Sydney College. There have been questions on campus as to the process for how bands and activities are chosen, considering that the CAC is given close to sixty-thousand dollars a year for our events. However, after speaking to CAC Chairman, Stephen Nusbaum, the choices for this year’s bands add up.

 Chairman Nusbaum explained that the CAC wanted to choose a band that the returning alumni could enjoy, as well as the students. It turns out that the Nitty Gritty Dirt band happened to be able to perform this weekend, and having to make the decision in the summer, the CAC did not have many options to book a band for homecoming.

 However, they also booked David Lee Murphy since he is a newer performer for the younger crowd.  Nusbaum also brought up a pertinent fact: “With the expanding diversity on campus, it is very difficult to choose a band that will make everyone happy.”

 The CAC has expanded its members to having an additional representative per class this year, making a total of thirteen CAC members. As I brought up the subject of involving the student body more in our band selections, Nusbaum explained that the CAC is open to discussing bands and that the best way to reach them is through the CAC Facebook page, which is most effective for receiving reviews.

 Another great idea that Chairman Nusbaum informed me of is being implemented this year: the CAC will save a given amount from their allotment each year, and for every fourth year, they will selected a “huge” band to play at Hampden-Sydney. This plan will bring more popularity and attention to our campus, but as of now, only every four years.

 This article is being written to present the mixed feelings about the bands that have been chosen this year and in the past. What is to be made clear is that if students have a strong opinion about a band they would like to see, they should write this on the Facebook page or speak directly with the CAC members.

 We elect these members to make the decisions for us, but it is possible to give our inputs as well, and this is encouraged. Using the new Tiger Exchange may also be a great avenue to express our opinions on bands in the future.

Nusbaum said the CAC is looking forward to putting on more future events to keep our campus from being a “suite-case campus,” and that we can look forward to hearing The Funky Monks, a great Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band, next weekend at the circle. It should be a great concert, and we can look forward to it, as well as this weekend’s Homecoming bands and a great game. Go Tigers.

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