The Band (1969)

“Across the great divide…”

Levon Helm came to us from the land of the singing drummers, and graced the planet earth with some of the most heartfelt tunes in the history of recorded music. 

The Band’s eponymous 1969 record is critically acclaimed and widely regarded as one of the world’s first concept albums. There are songs on this album that sound so folky and classic, it’s hard to believe they were written in the 60’s. I could’ve sworn that The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down was an old civil war folk song. It’s a slice of Americana that can only be captured in song. 

I’m partial to Levon because of his NY State roots up in Woodstock. His rambles were widely regarded as some of the most authentic musical gatherings in the world. I also had the pleasure of attending Mountain Jam in 2012, the year he passed, where a number of musicians paid their respects. I specifically remember Warren Haynes’ set that had the crowd dancing, singing and feeling the Levon juju. 

If you’re digging The Band — maybe this is the first time you’re listening to them beyond The Weight or Cripple Creek — I suggest you check out The Last Waltz as soon as you can. Hey, it’s Friday, go get yourself a six pack or a bottle of wine, kick back, relax and watch.

Suitable for: Long drives, sunny days, singing with friends

Appropriate Playback Device: Record Player 

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