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“The Weight” – The Band, from Woodstock, 1969

As has been mentioned by another contributor, deciding on a single tune is REALLY difficult! Consequently, for today, I have chosen to honor an all-time great drummer/singer, Levon Helm, who passed April 19, 2012. We’ll hear The Band playing “The Weight” at Woodstock, 43 years ago, August 15-18, 1969. More about Woodstock later this summer.

The Band went through various incarnations during the years of 1964–1976, and 1983–1999. The members were Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel & Robbie Robertson, who wrote “The Weight”. Robertson explained that the song was written in Nazareth, PA, where the Martin guitar company is located, and is mainly about people trying to do good for each other. “The Weight” has been covered by uncountable groups and according to Wikipedia “the song is listed as #41 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time published in 2004, and Pitchfork Media named it the thirteenth best song of the Sixties. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named it one of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.”

A distant memory: The Band at The Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN, in the late 60s-early 70s. The set opened with Garth Hudson on the organ playing “Chest Fever”. Every hair on my body stood up…it was mind-blowing sound in an amazingly perfect acoustic space.   I’ll never forget that performance…ever.

I’ll leave you with is this:  if you already know and love The Band, I don’t need to say any more. If you don’t know their music, get on it…they are one of the great bands and influenced many other stellar musicians and bands then and now.

Lyrics here.

More about The Band.

The Weight - Music From Big Pink (Remastered)