~ The Legacy of THE BAND ~
A passing wish of Levon Helm was for the music and spirit of The Band to live on, and THE WEIGHT does just that, bringing a live performance to fans of The Band. All of the members of THE WEIGHT were either actual members in The Band, or are directly and deeply connected to the legacy of The Band. Jim Weider (who replaced Robbie Robertson as lead guitarist in The Band) joins with drummer, Michael Bram as well as Brian Mitchell from Levon Helm Band, Marty Grebb (Rick Danko Group) and Albert Rogers. This is the most authentic presentation of The Band that the world is ever going to get.
Music aficionados would undoubtedly agree; if you had to name three groups that were most influential in shaping the modern era of American Rock N Roll, it would be, in no particular order, The Grateful Dead, The BAND and The Allman Brothers. The premise is symbolically validated by these three groups being chosen as the only ones to perform at Watkins Glen’s Summer Jam, an event which continues to hold the distinction of generating the largest paid attendance of any concert in the entire history of the Western Hemisphere, surpassing even Woodstock.
The music of The BAND was massively embraced by FM rock radio … the predominant media force of the day, and the group catapulted to fame. They put out hit after hit such as “The Weight”, “Ophelia”, “Up On Cripple Creek”, “Acadian Driftwood”, “Makes No Difference”, “Rag Mama Rag”, “Chest Fever”, “King Harvest”, “The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down”, “Get Up Jake”, “Shape I’m In”, “Stage Fright”, “Don’t Do It”, “Tears of Rage”, “Time To Kill”, “Life Is A Carnival”, “Across The Great Divide” and many others. Due to the unparalleled airplay, The BAND’s music ultimately became an indelible thread, deeply woven into the fabric of the evolving American culture.
Today The BAND’s music continues to mark time in the lives of millions of baby boomers around the world and is now being rediscovered by today’s youth. The impact has been astonishingly positive as this increasing audience becomes exposed to these same timeless songs through alternative networks, Classic Rock radio and the internet’s various music delivery systems.
At the core of The BAND’s existence stood Levon Helm and his recent passing came with a wish that the resurgence of the group’s music continue its upward evolution and remain a vibrant force in the concert world.
To that end, two members of The BAND, guitarist Jim Weider and dual drummer Randy Ciarlante soulfully chose to heed the call and in 2013, united as THE WEIGHT Band. Keyboardist Brian Mitchell (a member of Levon’s side project, The Midnight Ramble Band) eagerly climbed aboard. Marty Grebb joined the cause, who often performed with The Band, and wrote and recorded on their critically acclaimed Jericho album. As did bassist Albert Rogers, who jammed with Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and Jim Weider, and replaces original member of THE WEIGHT, Byron Isaacs.
So there you have it. Five musical brothers, all with a compelling connection to The BAND’s heritage, locked at the hip and passionate in the mission of performing songs of The Band, live and in concert. Quite frankly these guys had consistently been doing just that for many years anyway, so their shows are truly as close to the real deal as we are ever going to see…..and that’s heavy statement for sure.
Check out their website: theweightband.com.