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Education » Literary
The Band: Pioneers of Americana Music screenshot
English | 2017 | ISBN: 0810895013 | 224 pages | EPUB | 2 MB
At a time when Acid Rock and Heavy Metal dominated popular music, The Band rebelled against the rebellion with a masterful mix of tight ensemble arrangements, great vocals, highly literate lyricism, and a respect for the musical traditions of the American South. Comprising Canadians Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Garth Hudson, and Arkansas-born Levon Helm, The Band sparked a new appreciation for America’s musical roots, fusing R&B, jump blues, country, folk, boogie-woogie, swing, Cajun, New Orleans-style jazz, and rock, and setting the foundations for the Americana craze that would take hold 30 years later.

The Band: Pioneers of Americana Music explores the diverse influences on the quintet’s music, and the impact that their music had in turn on contemporary music and American society. Through previously unpublished interviews with Robbie Robertson, Eric Andersen, Pete Seeger, and the late Rick Danko, as well as numerous other sources, Craig Harris surveys The Band’s musical journey from sidemen for, among others, Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan, to rock legends in their own right.

The book touches on the evolution of rock and roll, the electrifying of folk music, unionism, and Civil Rights Movement, the growth of America’s musical roots, changes in radio formatting, changing perceptions of the American south, and the commercializing of the counter-culture, as well as drug dependency, alcoholism, suicide, greed, and the struggle against cancer. Harris takes readers through The Band’s albums, from Music from Big Pink and The Band to their final releases and solo recordings, as well as their historic appearances at Woodstock, Isle of Wight (with Dylan), Watkins Glen (with the Allman Brothers Band and the Grateful Dead), and the Last Waltz (with an all-star cast) and participation in the Festival Express.

This biography is a must-have publication, not only for fans, but also for anyone interested in music history. Craig Harris sets the record straight as he shares the story of this incredibly influential rock act.


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comments

  Releaser 21.07.2012 13418 3570
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  Resident 5.12.2012 822 21151
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  Resident 24.07.2019 15 370
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I had never heard of them before I watched The Last Waltz (watched it a few days after I had seen Van Morrison live), but man what a talented bunch of musicians! I guess they never became as big outside of the US as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and others alike, but they really deserve as much recognition as them.
  Member 13.08.2020 15
+1
Some fine players and music. Perhaps you knew this from watching the film, but Bob Dylan was instrumental in The Band's career and exposure as they were his back up band when he began his 'electric' phase and also further wrote with them as they found their own success.

They were a Canadian band and it was difficult for bands to garner attention and break into the 'Holy Grail' market of the US. (Of course it was difficult to break into for any band as even Jimi had to go to overseas to get attention prior to US success.)

Still, a bit surprised that you hadn't heard of them, if only for the film being widely known and the song 'The Weight' being so popular and used in subsequent films etc. Basically inescapable and quite a testament given it's from 1968. Maybe they never left the N.America circuit enough to bring them more acclaim elsewhere...I don't know.

Not sure about the "....Heavy Metal dominated popular music" bit in the written intro. Whatever 'heavy metal' means I guess...but at this time and for at least the next decade or more, the music that was played on critical radio was extremely varied (as was the record label mindset as to signings).

It was not yet quite so compartmentalized and there wasn't a thousand genres with yet another thousand apparent genre subsets as there seems to be today.
  Resident 24.07.2019 15 370
+470
quote by Denninger
Still, a bit surprised that you hadn't heard of them, if only for the film being widely known and the song 'The Weight' being so popular and used in subsequent films etc.

I'm a 90's kid so it might have just been that they were a bit before my time, but I've never heard any of their songs on the radio or being played on tv here in Sweden.

Country, americana and bluegrass are genres that never have been particularly succesful over here. Not until recently, now that counry and similar genres have blended into some of the more mainstream music.
  Member 13.08.2020 15
+1
Given a moments thought, and checking my calendar, of course I shouldn't be surprised and really, suppose that I'm not. Spur of the moment typing.

Main thing is that it's cool that you have discovered some new stuff, a new gem, and can appreciate such music in almost year 2022! Cheers!
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p.s. I forgot to say that you would no doubt enjoy the Robbie Robertson album Sinematic mentioned by St4lk3r below. Van Morrison guests on a track too.
  Member 13.01.2015 1 58
+78
They also played at the 1969 Woodstock Festival.
Dylan (not a fool) choosed them as a backing band (that's why The Band name) for his "electric" transition (from acoustic).
Watching The Last Waltz is an absolute must. That was their last gig, they were quitting the road. Martin Scorsese filmed it in a revolutionary way for the times (1976), and it's rated as one of the best live music film ever made (if not the best). Surely the best "Americana" gig ever. The greatness of The Band (nomen omen) is proven first by their absolute perfect performances and then by the incredible list of guest that evening, they were there to salute them: Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood, The Staples Singers, Dr. John, Neil Diamond, Hemmylou Harris, Ronnie Hawkins, Stephen Stills, Ringo Starr...
And by the way, Robbie Robertson solo album Sinematic (2019) still is a very good record.
  Member 13.08.2020 15
+1
Absolutely. I think Robertson had had enough of the road and hit the brakes on it, so to speak. The Band did, of course, later resume touring without Robertson whose own career continued and branched out into other areas of the business very successfully.

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