16 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

Moondog Matinee recalls The Band's early-‘60s origins as The Hawks, a Toronto club act grinding out the era's R&B and rock hits. But while this album invokes the innocent spirit of a bygone age, it also reflects The Band as a mature group of players with distinctive musical ideas. A warm and friendly mood pervades these tracks, heard in Garth Hudson’s carnival-like organ work on “Third Man Theme” and Rick Danko’s sweetly yearning vocals on “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Levon Helm particularly shines here, displaying his trademark vocal gusto on “Ain’t Got No Home” and “I’m Ready.” The Band’s collective take on “Mystery Train” is arresting, filled with the rhythmic subtleties and quirky touches that typify its own material. Also not to be missed is “Saved,” sung by Richard Manuel with unbridled glee that’s positively infectious. While Moondog Matinee is no substitute for an album’s worth of Band originals, it succeeds admirably on its own nostalgic terms. (The album’s 2001 reissue contains some worthy extra tracks, including versions of the gospel hymn “Didn’t It Rain” and The Band’s own “Endless Highway.”)

EDITORS’ NOTES

Moondog Matinee recalls The Band's early-‘60s origins as The Hawks, a Toronto club act grinding out the era's R&B and rock hits. But while this album invokes the innocent spirit of a bygone age, it also reflects The Band as a mature group of players with distinctive musical ideas. A warm and friendly mood pervades these tracks, heard in Garth Hudson’s carnival-like organ work on “Third Man Theme” and Rick Danko’s sweetly yearning vocals on “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Levon Helm particularly shines here, displaying his trademark vocal gusto on “Ain’t Got No Home” and “I’m Ready.” The Band’s collective take on “Mystery Train” is arresting, filled with the rhythmic subtleties and quirky touches that typify its own material. Also not to be missed is “Saved,” sung by Richard Manuel with unbridled glee that’s positively infectious. While Moondog Matinee is no substitute for an album’s worth of Band originals, it succeeds admirably on its own nostalgic terms. (The album’s 2001 reissue contains some worthy extra tracks, including versions of the gospel hymn “Didn’t It Rain” and The Band’s own “Endless Highway.”)

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