"There's tremendously great stuff going on today, and I think some of this music will stand the test of time but these people that are in this book from Buddy Holly to Patsy Cline, they did something better than anybody else will ever do it."
"The Weight" belies its name by beginning lightly, with the keen tickle of strings, precise yet also casual. You feel like you're on someone's porch, down home, listening to a few folks make music at sundown.
Like any song that's morphed into our musical vernacular, "The Weight" has come to exist as a backdrop in American folk culture. It pops up in films when the scene is meant to express something uniquely "American" that dialog just can't seem to capture.
It's my (and many others') pick for the best rock concert movie ever: Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz. For those in the dark, this was Scorsese's filming of The Band's farewell concert at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom on Thanksgiving Day, 1976.
In 2011, Robbie Robertson's album How To Become Clairvoyant was not only one of the more satisfying releases of the year, but it also was the artist's most personal statement about his life, covering topics from spirituality to the breakup of The Band.
Diary of a Player: How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me is the story of Brad Paisley's life with strings attached, and a very open and personal love letter to the guitar from one of its finest practioners today.
A few years ago I had the special opportunity to share some of my own songs with Marilyn and Alan Bergman, one of the greatest songwriting teams of all time. I'll never forget what they said to me after I played for them.
Your musical past and future both await you this week. Witness Robbie Robertson and Ray Davies, who are keeping classic rock dreams alive. Then behold the Ravonettes and the Kills, who are bringing new ones to life.
With Layne Staley's death, Alice In Chains was all but done. But fourteen years later, here we are with something that sounds a lot like what the group would have had they returned to the studio a couple years later.