Music from Big Pink

Ah, the Band.  The band called “the Band” because they started off as a backing band (first for Ronnie Hawkins, and then later for some guy named Bob Dylan).  A band that rented a big pink house in Woodstock, New York so they could be close to their frontman while he recovered from a motorcycle accident and wound up recording an album of their own.  It’s a nice story, and it’s how this album came into existence.

So they had two copies of this album right by me at the Half Price Books on Bethel Road, but I kept passing on it because I wasn’t ready to listen to it yet.  So when it finally came up on the list and I was ready for it, of course it was gone.  So I bought it from Amazon for $8.42, which is a little more than they were charging at HPB, but its okay.  I expected this to be some folky Dylanesque sort of thing, but I was surprised to hear a little bit of everything on this record.  Sure there is some folk, but there is also some country, some rockabilly, some bluegrass, and actually quite a bit of R&B.  I guess they picked up a little bit of everything while they were touring the country as a back-up band, and they were able to incorporate it all into their sound.  Pretty neat.  And I like the fact that they are mostly Canadian (although I’m glad they didn’t let their record label stick them with “the Canadian Squires” as a band name).

Other lists: “The Weight” is #41 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs.  The Band is #50 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists, Levon Helm is #91 on the list of the 100 Greatest Singers, and Robbie Robertson is #59 on the list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists.

My favourite track: “We Can Talk”

Honourable mention: “Long Black Veil”

Quote: “Oh, stop me if I sound kinda down in the mouth, but I’d rather be burned in Canada than to freeze here in the south”