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RRuskin 01-18-2019 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob Womack (Post 5952614)
To one and all: You will be forgiven by at least one (me) if you don't "get" The Band at all. Another band that I tried awfully to "get" for years on end and failed miserably. Loose rhythm section, quirky tones on all the instruments, definitely quirky vocals. Special taste. Never made it through the movie, either. Sorry.

Bob

They are the only loose-playing & intonation-iffy band that I like. FWIW - their later recordings were much tighter than their earlier classic work. "Northern Lights – Southern Cross" was quite polished.

Other than a few tunes, the Rolling Stones leave me completely cold.

Birdbrain 01-18-2019 03:56 PM

[QUOTE=Acousticado;5952599]In the interest of accuracy...

America may claim The Band as their own, and although it’s true that they sure were able to capture “Americana” in stories and music, all but American (Ark) Levon Helm actually hailed from southwestern Ontario, Canada. So, with an 80% Canadian contingent, if there’s a comparison to the Beatles, it can be argued they were the Canadian Beatles.:D

OK, The North American Beatles would be more appropriate! But their lyrics were just as all-American as Elton John's at the time. Both Bernie Taupin and Robbie Robertson were infatuated with American history, and wrote songs of that bent. Robbie describes how he read history books on the road to feed his songwriting, while Levon was entertaining him with true tales from Arkansas.

Acousticado 01-18-2019 05:06 PM

[QUOTE=Birdbrain;5952680]
Quote:

Originally Posted by Acousticado (Post 5952599)
In the interest of accuracy...

America may claim The Band as their own, and although it’s true that they sure were able to capture “Americana” in stories and music, all but American (Ark) Levon Helm actually hailed from southwestern Ontario, Canada. So, with an 80% Canadian contingent, if there’s a comparison to the Beatles, it can be argued they were the Canadian Beatles.:D

OK, The North American Beatles would be more appropriate! But their lyrics were just as all-American as Elton John's at the time. Both Bernie Taupin and Robbie Robertson were infatuated with American history, and wrote songs of that bent. Robbie describes how he read history books on the road to feed his songwriting, while Levon was entertaining him with true tales from Arkansas.

Yeah, that’ll work! I know it, the world knows it...Americana is cool!

Bob Womack 01-18-2019 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RRuskin (Post 5952665)
Other than a few tunes, the Rolling Stones leave me completely cold.

Me too.

Bob

Jaden 01-19-2019 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acousticado (Post 5952599)
In the interest of accuracy...

America may claim The Band as their own, and although it’s true that they sure were able to capture “Americana” in stories and music, all but American (Ark) Levon Helm actually hailed from southwestern Ontario, Canada. So, with an 80% Canadian contingent, if there’s a comparison to the Beatles, it can be argued they were the Canadian Beatles.:D

The boys knew what it would take to make it to the big time and in those days, to write about Canadiana wasn’t going to get it done. Canada’s The Guess Who knew that (think “American Woman”) as did Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and many other notable Canadian artists. The first pretty successful Canadian band to not give-in to predominant American references in music was The Tragically Hip, who for so many Canadians was refreshing to see ourselves and places mirrored to us...finally (exception, “New Orleans Is Sinking”). Not that we don’t love all of our “American” mega stars.;) You can have Céline Dion though.;);)

Brilliant post. Americans are a funny lot; on average they are consumed by novelty, by what is new, physically and in regard to the arts but this is what makes this melting pot of ethnic groups continue to produce new, vital forms of music. There is only one other country in the world that has such a rich musical heritage going back throughout the 20th century that I can think of and that is South Africa. I guess for Americans it’s hard to see how rich it is if one is living in the midst of it. It takes a foreigner or a Canadian to see it and exploit (or cultivate) it.

nitram 01-19-2019 04:26 AM

I am another fan of tThe Band and I'll demonstrate how deeply they affected me with this little anecdote.
One evening in 1969 a room-mate and I were sitting around listening to CHUM -FM and heard that the much anticipated second album of The Band had just been released in the U.S. and that A&A Records had a small batch of American pressings available. The Canadian pressing was not done yet so Dave and I looked at each other and said "Let's go!" We lived in the Yorkville area(think Haight-Ashbury) and RAN the approx. 1 mile to A&A and bought a copy,
which I still own.
Needless to say that disc has more than a few pops and crackles but it ain't going no where as Bob Dylan might say.
Such was their influence on some of us back in the day.And still is.

catdaddy 01-19-2019 06:11 AM

I had the good fortune to see The Band twice in the 80s (after Robertson left, and before Manuel passed). In each case the venue held less than a thousand people. Their musicianship, energy and stage presence made those concerts truly memorable.

Birdbrain 01-19-2019 11:53 AM

Don't forget Richard Manuel...
 
While Robbie wrote most all the big songs that we all remember, it's worth noting that he wasn't the only writer in the group. Rock Danko contributed a few good ones, including a soulful heart-wrencher, "It Makes No Difference." But the tunes from pianist Richard Manual, while few in number, are all small masterpieces.

-- "Whispering Pines," a sweet ode to pine trees waiting for the rain and foghorns in the night, reminding me more of Seattle than the South. Like a more wistful "Dock of the Bay," it features some of The Band's sweetest, most polished harmony singing.

--"Katie's Been Gone," never released on the original albums, but available on bootlegs and compilations, begins as a note to a distant lover, who as he writes, realizes that she's really gone.

--"Unfaithful Servant" recounts a Southern Gothic scene of shame and banishment, over a betrayal that is all the more powerful for never being described.

--"The Rumor," a parallel tale of shame over an unspoken slander. This one seems more relevant in today's social media world: "For whether this rumor/ proves true or false/ you can forgive, or you can regret/ but you can never, never forget."

Pick out some of these songs and experience them in isolation, and you'll see the emotional depth and literary talents of this quiet man who, in good voice, was called "the white Ray Charles." It's a pity that Richard couldn't stay off the bottle and write more of these. He might now be regarded as the true genius of The Band.

Muddslide 01-19-2019 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Birdbrain (Post 5953437)
..."Whispering Pines," a sweet ode to pine trees waiting for the rain and foghorns in the night, reminding me more of Seattle than the South. Like a more wistful "Dock of the Bay," it features some of The Band's sweetest, most polished harmony singing...

I'm glad you brought up this specific song. It's so haunting. The Band contributed a high number of songs to the world of music, but this is one of their sweetest gems.

Jaden 01-19-2019 01:15 PM

Thanks Bird,
“Katie’s Been Gone” is on The Basement Tapes and Richard really delivers on the tenderness of the subject. Brings a tear to my eye every time.

jseth 01-19-2019 08:06 PM

It is SO good to see the Band getting a lot of love on this site. I know I'm an "old guy", but I'm heartwarmed to think that there are those in this day and age who are hip enough to look back at what I used to describe as "my favorite American band" for some forty years; now I realize that all of 'em except Levon was Canadian!

I wouldn't describe them as any sort of "Beatles"-type band... they never gained much in the way of popularity, never were "stars"... heck, a high percentage of folks in the 60's and 70's didn't even know who they were. As good as the songs and performances were on "The Weight" and "Up On Cripple Creek", they aren't anywhere near the best stuff those guys did, in my opinion.

One reply mentioned that their music still sounds fresh today, yet, at the same time, it sounds old... my first thought was that the songs sounded "old" when they were brand-new! Wherever Robbie was getting his inspiration for those lyrics, he seemed to capture the essence of life in America in a certain period, and he captured it brilliantly!

I still remember seeing a picture of The Band, back in the 60's when I was still a teenager; in stark contrast to all the "pretty" rock stars with high tenor voices and very "hip" accoutrements, THESE guys looked like they'd come over to your house later that night and ROB you! They looked real, and they looked dangerous!

It was fun to read all about the in's and out's of the group in both Levon and Robbie's books, but it was a let-down in many ways... the two books taken together (even just Levon's book alone) brought to mind that old saying, "It takes two to tango". I'm sure there's a lot of truth in those books, and I'm equally sure that a lot of what's there is absolutely from distant perspectives with an obvious agenda to follow.

I was "almost" able to attend The Last Waltz, through a pass from the floor-mounted cameraperson, but it fell through at the last minute... I'm never a fan of going back into a live recording and "cleaning it up"; I'd much rather hear the actual performance for what it was. Oh well... better to have that all documented than not.

I still play out, whenever I find gigs that "work" for me, for what I play... and I don't do but one or two songs by The Beatles...

...but I still play a dozen tunes of The Band's... People should NEVER forget that group, even if they've never heard them before!

Birdbrain 01-19-2019 10:57 PM

Popular? Yes, they were...
 
Maybe it was different in your neck of the woods, but when I was in college in the early '70s, they filled stadiums, sharing a bill with a noted folk singer named "Bob." Rock radio frequently played tunes by Dylan, The Band, or both. It was one of Bob's most popular periods, too.

It's proof of The Band's deep legacy that we're two pages in before even mentioning, "they played with Dylan."

Acousticado 01-19-2019 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Birdbrain (Post 5954000)
Maybe it was different in your neck of the woods, but when I was in college in the early '70s, they filled stadiums, sharing a bill with a noted folk singer named "Bob." Rock radio frequently played tunes by Dylan, The Band, or both. It was one of Bob's most popular periods, too.

It's proof of The Band's deep legacy that we're two pages in before even mentioning, "they played with Dylan."

Or fwiw, even earlier as The Hawks backing the lesser known Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins (who, as an American is a legend in Canada). Actually, Ronnie occasionally visits his nephew in the SW Florida community where my wife and I spend our winters. In fact, last winter season while I was washing my car at the community washing station, he and his nephew drove by in a golf cart. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him though. He’s really old now.

Murphy Slaw 01-20-2019 06:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jseth (Post 5953899)
I wouldn't describe them as any sort of "Beatles"-type band... they never gained much in the way of popularity, never were "stars"... heck, a high percentage of folks in the 60's and 70's didn't even know who they were.

I agree. The Beatles were a pop band with multiple "top 10" songs on every album and girls chasing them up and down the street.

The Band were simply making a living making music.

muscmp 01-20-2019 11:09 AM

excellent read is robbie's book, "testimony." note that not just the beatles had girls chasing them.

i would call them huge stars during their day.

play music!


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