The Band
The Band

The Band

About The Band

In the long, vast history of American rock ‘n’ roll, few groups have captured the U.S.’s storied past like The Band. The irony, of course, is that four of the five core members—guitarist/vocalist Robbie Robertson, keyboardist/vocalist Richard Manuel, keyboardist Garth Hudson, and bassist/vocalist Rick Danko—hail from Canada, while drummer/vocalist Levon Helm comes from Arkansas. The quintet first emerged as Levon & The Hawks in 1964 after serving as Ronnie Hawkins’ backing band. In 1965, Bob Dylan hired the group for his groundbreaking “electric” tour, and in 1967, they all banded together in the studio for the now-famous recordings titled The Basement Tapes. The collection, eventually released in 1975, blended roots rock with Americana and alt-country and deeply informed the group’s iconic 1968 debut album, Music From Big Pink, issued under their new name, The Band. The record introduced a psychedelic POV to folk music, and on songs like “The Weight,” the group proved their ability to pen iconic choruses. Just a year later, they returned with The Band, a concept album, which mined Southern folklore to create mesmerizing classics like “Across the Great Divide” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” The funky “Up On Cripple Creek” popularized a New Orleans-style groove that other artists emulated throughout the decade. The group, however, didn’t last that long, disbanding in 1977, a year after the release of their Scorsese-directed farewell concert film, The Last Waltz, though they eventually reemerged without Robertson from 1983 to 1999. The Band’s influence is felt decades later throughout modern rock and Americana music, in the rich, layered harmonies of Fleet Foxes and the Southern charm of outlaw country artists like Sturgill Simpson.

  • ORIGIN
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • FORMED
    1967

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