World Gone Mad, the soon-to-be-released album by The Weight Band, made its national, on-air debut on Feb. 1 during a special edition of Greasy Tracks.
The group plays a pre-release concert at Infinity Hall in Hartford on Feb. 16. The album is slated for a Feb. 23 release.
Tracing its roots to some impromptu performances by former members of The Band – Weider and drummer Randy Ciarlante — joined by guitarist Jimmy Vivino and bassist Byron Isaacs along with Band founder Garth Hudson, The Weight Band was formed with the goal of carrying on the tradition of the legendary group.
From its humble beginnings playing in Levon Helm’s barn, the group began to take its show on the road, playing dates across the country. Through some personnel changes over time, Mitchell would join along with keyboardist/vocalist Marty Grebb, bassist Albert Rogers and drummer Michael Bram.
Grebb, who did time with the Buckinghams and was a founding member of the Fabulous Rhinestones, sessioned on one Band album and played in side projects led by The Band’s bassist Rick Danko and Hudson, while Rogers has played with Helm and Hudson.
While The Weight Band’s concerts typically feature an in-depth selection of The Band’s catalogue, the group’s debut studio album — minus a pair of interesting covers — is all original material, albeit in the style of The Band.
Just as The Band had a diverse collection of vocalists, The Weight Band offers a range of different singers on the release and multiple members contributing material with Helm picking up co-writing credits on two tracks. The covers include Bob Dylan’s “Day of the Locusts” and the Jerry Garcia-Robert Hunter chestnut, “Deal” which features a guest appearance by guitarist Jackie Greene.