Today marks the 46th anniversary of the release of 'Music From Big Pink' by The Band.
The Band was always playing around the house when I was a kid yet I never really knew who they were. I wasn't smart enough to ask either. It wasn't until my 20's that I found them and their music.
If you're not sure who The Band is and you're asking yourself "Which band!?". Then I must direct you to two places...
In short The Band was one of the greatest. They had a number of relative hits, including "The Weight", "Up On Cripple Creek" & "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". Got their start touring with Ronnie "The Hawk" Hawkins and later became the backing band for Bob Dylan when he went electric. Composed of four Canadians and an Arkansas boy, they ripped through some of the greatest Americana music ever created.
I had always been drawn to their song The Weight, the way the voices layered themselves, the way in which the song told a story. It felt timeless, well, because fuck, it is! It's a one in a million song. So beautifully composed and executed it seems hard to believe it wasn't just unearthed from under some stone or dug up in the dirt.
The lyrics felt like folklore. The names of the people in the story reminded me of the names from my parents long lost relatives and the friends from their youth. It's hard to quite put into words just how important that song ended up being to me. And it wasn't even something I was conscious of at the time. It was just always there. And I loved it. Still do.
Definitely check out This Wheels On Fire, the autobiography of Levon Helm. DAMN good read.
Also watch The Last Waltz for some perspective. Keep an eye out for Van Morrison doing his high kicks while singing Caravan.
Here's to you fellas, you made art and you made it seem easy.
BONUS: Rosie and I took a trip to Saugerties, New York just this past Summer to see Big Pink. The modest pink house they called home while recording their first album.