A Night in the Ozarks with The Dillards DVD

If there has ever been such a thing as a must have for Dillards fans, this item is it. This classic audiolithograph of Dillards music and stories was produced and directed by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's John McEuen and written by John with Rodney Dillard and Mitch Jayne.

Filmed at a house that Mitch found way out in the country in the Missouri Ozarks in 1989 and released on VHS during the early 1990s, this film features 16 songs, including Mayberry favorites "Banjo in the Holler," "There Is a Time," "Ebo Walker," "Doug's Tune," and "Dooley." The music and conversation around the house are caught as close to seemingly spontaneous and raw as can be accomplished on film and video with a few cameras. And yet considerable thought obviously has gone into the production to create that relaxed, natural feel. Sound familiar?

There are so many highlights and delights to this film that it's hard to describe them all. Filmed using four Super 8 cameras and two video cameras, this film gives the viewer the sense of just sitting on the back porch and in the living room with the four original Dillards (Doug Dillard, Rodney Dillard, Mitch Jayne, and Dean Webb) and friends and family, including father Homer Dillard, Beverly Cotton Dillard (Rodney's wife), Ginger Boatwright, and Steve Cooley.

When the film was originally released, it was like a joyous, nostalgic reunion of the Original Dilllards, the ones Mayberry fans and others discovered and instantly loved beginning in the 1960s. Doug was no longer playing with The Dillards when this documentary was filmed.

All these years later, this film has a one-two punch of nostalgia one punch for the 1960s Dillards and another for this 1989 reunion itself. These days Doug and Rodney are touring together again, but Dean is performing mostly with another group around Branson, and Mitch has retired from playing music. This film therefore captures a precious moment in Dillards history.

The hour-long main film has a bonus half hour or so of stories, interviews, behind-the-scenes shots (including John McEuen joining in on banjo), and brief concert footage filmed in Salem, Mo., the same week as the rest of the film. Extra footage and special features not on the original VHS release have been added to the DVD version. All we can say is get ready to enjoy a toe-tapping Night in the Ozarks with The Dillards!

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