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The Band was a Canadian-American roots rock group including Rick Danko (bass guitar, vocals, fiddle), Garth Hudson (keyboards, accordion, saxophone), Richard Manuel (keyboards, drums, vocals), Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals), and Levon Helm (drums, vocals, mandolin, guitar). Their time backing Bob Dylan was when they first reached prominence (as well as providing The Band their name), but they were originally formed as The Hawks, a backing band for rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins. They joined Hawkins one by one between 1958 and 1963.
The Band is the second studio album by the Band, released on September 22, 1969. It is also known as The Brown Album. According to Rob Bowman’s liner notes for the 2000 reissue, The Band has been viewed as a concept album, with the songs focusing on people, places and traditions associated with an older version of Americana. Thus, the songs on this album draw on historic themes for “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” and “Jawbone” (which was composed in the unusual 6/4 time signature).
Cahoots is the fourth studio album by Canadian/American rock group the Band. It was released in 1971 to mixed reviews, and was their last album of original material for four years. The album’s front cover was painted by New York artist/illustrator Gilbert Stone, while the back cover features a photograph portrait of the group by Richard Avedon. The album features guest vocals from Van Morrison.
Moondog Matinee is the fifth studio album by Canadian/American rock group the Band, released in 1973. It consists entirely of cover material reflecting the group’s love of R&B and blues music, with one exception in their interpretation of the theme from the film The Third Man.
Northern Lights – Southern Cross is the sixth studio album released in 1975. It was the first album to be recorded at their new California studio, Shangri-La, and the first album of all new material since 1971’s Cahoots. All eight songs are credited as compositions of guitarist Robbie Robertson.
Northern Lights – Southern Cross was recorded using a 24-track tape recorder, which allowed Garth Hudson to include multiple layers of keyboards on several tracks.
Three songs from the album – “It Makes No Difference”, “Ophelia” and “Acadian Driftwood” – were performed at The Last Waltz, the Band’s 1976 “final performance”. “It Makes No Difference” and “Ophelia” were included in the Last Waltz film and on the original 1978 soundtrack album, and “Acadian Driftwood” was included in the 2002 extended re-release of the soundtrack album.