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Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by Larry F, May 26, 2013.
Man if this don't move you,you got somethin missin! Luv RR's lead and tone.
See what you started.
I think there's lots of great information (and love) in this thread - it may even have affected the OP's view on The Band and their importance in rock history.
I guess we can live with a few less serious posts ...
I think it's a travesty that everyone but Robbie struggled financially after The Band broke up. I also think it's not as simple as "Robbie was a dick".
I can't say anything that hasn't been said already. I'll just go on the record as saying I love The Band.
Also, Live in Tokyo: 1983 is worth checking out. No Robbie, but the Cate Brothers are pretty good. http://www.amazon.com/Live-Tokyo-1983-Band/dp/B003B3V14W
No, it's called the Internet and file sharing and a few other things.
Jonathan Taplin was a young college graduate (Princeton) who went to work for Albert Grossman, who managed Dylan, Baez, Peter Paul & Mary, Janis Joplin, and The Band. Taplin became The Band's road manager. He was with them at the original Woodstock concert. He went to L.A. and helped set up Sammy Davis Jr's pool house as a recording studio for the brown album (The Band).
In 1968 he produced the Tribute to Woody Guthrie concert that featured Dylan and The Crackers (before they were officially The Band) in a stunning rockabilly performance of three Guthrie songs. In 1971, he assisted George Harrison and Ravi Shankar to produce The Concert for Bangladesh. In 1973, he produced Martin Scorsese's first big movie, Mean Streets. He produced a dozen other movies, including The Last Waltz. He's that one that wrote in his book, Outlaw Blues, that Levon "changed my whole notion of the 'cracker', a name he proudly embraced. Levon could embody a mournful 19th Century Southern cracker in 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' and yet live as one of the hippest 20th Century gentlemen I knew, who could hang out with Sonny Boy Williamson and loved Marvin Gaye’s music. "
Taplin has been with The Band off and on since 1968, and he's been active in both the music and movie business, and in the music movie business. He's now a professor at the USC school of communications and director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab.
The subject of intellectual property is dear to his heart, and he has written papers and engaged in public debates on the subject.
Here's his quote explaining why the guys in The Band struggled financially (Robbie bought out everyone's share but Levon's), and it also explains why old R&R and pop groups go on Reunion tours. He wrote this at Levon's passing, a couple of days after his public debate with Reddit cofounder Alexis Obanian. It's from Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
The Band's importance cannot be overestimated. Amazing songwriting, musicianship and vocal ability that combined to create some of the best music of my generation.
The Band took the folk, country, blues and jazz elements that were forged by the rivers, mountains, swamps and grimy ports of America and transformed them into a new genre that we now call Americana. Not too shabby for 4 canuks and a cracker.
Oh and no disrepect to the Doors who I dearly love, but if those Californian college boys had played in some of the dark, dingy and dangerous dives where the Band learned their chops, they would have crapped their bellbottoms...or leather bellbottoms in Jim's case.
Thank you once more bblumentritt for an insightful post! It's not everyday that I learn someting new about The Band.
BEST band name ever. BEST band ever. That's all.
Excellent post. It's why I buy the music I love and I find "renting music" by the way of subscriptions services distasteful. The house wins, the artist never does.
As much as I love Levon there are things he says/writes about JRR that I take with a grain of sand.
The Band is one of my favorite all time groups. They are all wonderful musicians. The best album is music from the big pink.
It's a bit surprising to realize that my favorite song written by a member of The Band after their break-up is written by Rick Danko (co-work with Eric Anderson) from the album Danko/Fjeld/Anderson (1991).
It's in fact a Norwegian production with Norwegian musicians playing most of the instruments, with the obvious exceptions of course. And then there's Garth on accordion (not on this song though).
I especially enjoy Knut Reiersrud's guitar obligato - great tone and feel!
I have a 2 cd set that is the brown album and music from big pink......2 of their best......
Couldn't agree more!
Music From Big Pink is listed as #9 in the Rolling Stone 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time. "Every rootsy rock guy ever owes something to this record, a bold embrace of American tradition and down-to-earth simplicity released into an era of protest and psychedelia."
A large number of Band songs have some traits that make them different from ther usual rock or popular music songs. Very few I-IV-V rock and roll songs. And, as Levon said, they don't use "regular" guitar chords. They also used synchopated beats, odd time signatures, and tempo changes. Other bands do this kind of thing too, but for The Band, it was the norm.
Moving chord progressions. Seldom do Band songs use the 3 chord or 4 chord structure. Up on Cripple Creek was a 3 chord song, but it's the exception. Check out the chord progressions for King Harvest (Has Surely Come) or The Unfaithful Servant for examples.
An "interlude" as opposed to a bridge or Middle Eight. The interlude is an intrumental or sometimes a vocal break in the song that uses different chord changes and a different tempo than the rest of the song. Jawbone, Time to Kill, and The Rumor fit this bill.
A "bridge" in a Band song is pretty much a different section or movement. Check out We Can Talk or Chest Fever from Music From Big Pink.
A section that is different from verse to verse. The intro run on The Night They Drove old Dixie Down is different on each verse. The musical feel on the pre-verse on Jawbowne, a highly unusual song, is different each time around. This song also has an uptempo interlude and a 6/4 time signature and lots of syncopated beats.
Lots of syncopation, and changing chords on an upbeat or offbeat as opposed to the 1 or downbeat. The vocals don't fall on the same beat as the chord change. Acadian Driftwood and Ring your Bell are this way all the way through, but you'll find it in most other Band songs - The Shape I'm In, Just Another Whistle Stop.
Time signature or tempo changes. Just Another Whistle Stop has two measures of 7/4 in the chorus. King Harvest has a time change between the chorus and the verse. Lots of half time. The Weight, Up on Cripple Creek, When I Paint My Masterpiece.
Levon Helm demostrates some drum techniques for Life Is A Carnival (he got partial songwriting credit for this one). http://youtu.be/adFgQCa4QKs
I personally think they are one of the greatest bands that ever was....
After following this thread, I am steadily gaining respect for
both the Band, and my fellow forum members.
Y'all are a thoughtful lot!
Anyways, for my next blather:
Weren't they a brilliant ensemble?
No grandstanding, just pure cooperation.
Watching them in performance showed how much they felt their music.
They all seem lost in it, without seeming self-conscious.
I think you are right. Such a diverse musical group, and each so talented. I always liked Levon's singing the best, but that's just my preference.
Richard's got a pretty awesome voice though too - and Rick's not too shabby either. They are the best IMHO