429 Records Pays Tribute to "The Band"
Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel -- aka The Band -- inarguably placed alongside a shortlist of groups considered "rock royalty", will be paid a long-overdue, much-deserved tribute with Endless Highway: The Music Of The Band - a collection of their compositions lovingly reworked by a diverse group of artists who share a love of The Band and are highly regarded in their own right.
The project will be released by 429 Records (a unit of the Savoy Label Group), in January of 2007. The stellar collection features reinterpretations of classic Band songs by Jack Johnson, My Morning Jacket, Lee Ann Womack, Death Cab For Cutie, Roseanne Cash, Jakob Dylan, Gomez, Widespread Panic, The Allman Brothers, John Hiatt, Joe Henry, Bruce Hornsby, Guster, Blues Traveler, Josh Turner, Government Mule and Others. Tracks are currently streaming on the Savoy Label Group website listed below. Endless Highway: The Music Of The Band is in stores January 30th.
Executive Produced by Stu Fine and Steve Vining, Endless Highway is a showcase for musicians of many different genres for whom The Band represent a pinnacle of creative musicianship. Says Stu Fine: "The more we talked about the idea of finding an artist whose songs transcended time, space and generations, who artists loved and respected enough to want to cover, THE BAND kept showing up at the top of each of our wish lists."
When The Band released their first album, Music From Big Pink, they had already spent over a year touring with Ronnie Hawkins (as The Hawks) and Bob Dylan on the intensely polarizing world tour that introduced audiences to the "electric" side of Dylan. It was a series of performances that were astonishing in their unwavering musical vision and intensity. The Band materialized out of the ashes of The Hawks upon an unsuspecting musical community with a collection of compositions unlike anything released in pop music before. Rob Bowman states in his notes to the compilation The Band: A Musical History, ... more than any other band in the history of popular music they were able to internalize the main tributaries of American roots musics to the point where they syncretically fused them into a timeless musical stew that, both linguistically and sonically, encapsulates the mythical essence of some long-lost sense of America."
The challenge for the artists participating in Endless Highway was how to approach a body of work where more often than not, the word used to describe a particular song was "masterpiece." My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan comments to Billboard.com on the recording of "It Makes No Difference" with Levon Helm in Helm's studio in Woodstock, NY: "We were very aware of the potential pain he would feel from hearing that song recorded by someone else. (Late Band members) Rick Danko and Richard Manuel were amongst the purest musicians to ever grace the art, and to conjure up their loss was something we feared and respected."
Adds Steve Vining, President of 429 Records/SLG: "It's been gratifying to work with so many established artists but also the young bands who have such an appreciation for The Band's legacy. Putting together this project has been a labor of love for all involved and I am happy the music reflects that."
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