Album: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1967)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Dismal Swamp" is a bluegrass instrumental that is anything but "dismal." The song is fast-paced and fun and shows off the banjo skills of Dirt Band co-founder John McEuen.
  • In his interview with Songfacts, McEuen explained that this song was instrumental to the formation of the Dirt Band. He wrote the song and told friend Les Thompson that he'd join his budding band if they agreed to learn and play it with him at a Topanga Canyon banjo contest. They agreed, McEuen won, and the Dirt Band was born.
  • John McEuen wrote this with his brother, William, who managed the Dirt Band.

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