The Telluride Bluegrass Festival this week is celebrating its 41st year of roots music in the picture-perfect setting among the San Juan Mountain peaks in southwest Colorado. It's a shame if you haven't experienced it at least once.
For me, the collaboration is sort of akin to working with a lyricist. There's no lyrics in the score, so you're basically working with the scenes as lyric and trying to find a way to emotionally support what's going on with that.
Well, if you're traveling with the aunts and the cousins, it might not mean music at all, unless your last name is Von Trapp, or dare I say Cyrus. Chances are, though, that there will be music and there will, thus, be singing.
JG: "I've been doing the Nashville thing, going down and doing a lot of co-writes, so I had a ton of songs written and I started recording them here in Pittsburgh. My wife Lee Ann said that I had not struck upon anything that was revealing about myself."
The Beatles, with their combination of nostalgia for '50s pop rock n roll and rockabilly, love of early '60s soul and girl groups as well as classic tin pan alley "tunesmithing," provided the pre-pubescent AM radio nursery rhymes for my exact generation.
"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.
Roger Ebert, Levon Helm, Sixto Rodriquez -- models of stoicism. They are men who met disappointment and worse, and faced their challenges with determination and courage. We used to have a lot of role models like them.
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 April, Levon passed away and there was talk of what would happen to the Rambles. And then, this past Saturday night rolled around like so many others before it, and Levon's Barn was open once again.