Carrying On The Band’s Legacy

Technically speaking, the original Band ceased to be following their swan song performance on Thanksgiving 1976 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, an event that was filmed and later released as The Last Waltz.

The Weight plays The Band: Guitarist Jim Weider (left) spent 15 years with The Band and joined by Marty Grebb, Brian Mitchell, Byron Isaacs and Randy Ciarlante. (Photo by Skinner Photography)

The Weight plays The Band: Guitarist Jim Weider (left) spent 15 years with The Band and joined by Brian Mitchell, Marty Grebb, Byron Isaacs and Randy Ciarlante makes up The Weight who pay tribute to the legendary group. (Photo by Skinner Photography)

There were several reincarnations of the legendary group which defined roots rock mixed with rhythm and blues and on Dec. 19 a handful of musicians who did time with The Band or played with members of the group, will be performing as The Weight at Infinity Hall in Norfolk.

The group features ex-members of The Band, including guitarist
Jim Weider who joined the group in 1985 and remained until 1999 and drummer Randy Ciarlante who gave them a dual-drum approach as he partnered with Levon Helm from 1990-1999.

Weider and Ciarlante also played with Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band as did keyboardist Brian Mitchell and bassist Byron Isaacs who join the fold along with multi-instrumentalist Marty Grebb, who spent time with The Buckinghams, Fabulous Rhinestones and former Band bassist Rick Danko’s group as well as ex-Band keyboardist Garth Hudson’s band.

Weider was a guest on the Dec. 13 edition of Greasy Tracks where he spoke about The Band’s legacy; the approach The Weight has taken when it comes to tackling the group’s catalog; some reminiscing about playing with The Band and how the group’s body of music remains so relevant and influential.

To listen to the segment featuring some tracks from The Band and The Weight and the interview with Weider, click here.

The Weight focuses solely on the music of The Band, usually running through the expected classics from the period beginning with the release of Music From Big Pink in 1968 through Northern Lights – Southern Cross in 1975. Weider says the group has also introduced a number of songs that were rarely, if ever, played in concert during The Band’s heyday, including “Forbidden Fruit,” “To Kingdom Come,” “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” and “Strawberry Wine.”

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