Take a Load Off, Fanny: Celebrating the Music of The Band

November 22nd, 2016, 12:00 pm by Greg

Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson… Five musicians who helped forge folk-rock with Bob Dylan and pioneered Americana (from a Canadian perspective) as The Band… all from an unassuming house in Saugerties in the ’60s.

The Band’s glorious run in the spotlight came to an end on Thanksgiving Day in 1976, with director Martin Scorsese capturing the Band and their non-stop parade of special guests – Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Dr. John, Van Morrison and so many more – in one of the greatest rock concert films of all time, “The Last Waltz.”

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This week marks the 40th anniversary of The Band’s final concert, and there are quite a few special events going on around Greater Nippertown to celebrate The Last Waltz. Here’s a round-up of some of those events:

TELEVISION: “THE LAST WALTZ” @ WMHT-TV
Wednesday, November 23, 7:30pm
Thursday, November 24, 1am, 3pm & 11pm
Wednesday, November 30, 9pm
The Greater Nippertown PBS-TV station broadcasts the classic concert film, plus a conversation with Levon Helm recorded by WMHT in the performer’s kitchen not long before his death, and new interviews with Robbie Robertson recorded in LA by WMHT’s Scott Sauer.

FILM: “THE LAST WALTZ” @ The Egg’s Hart Theatre, Albany
Friday, November 25 • 7:30pm
Free admission; reservations required
A screening of The Band’s classic concert film utilizing “Real Feel” sound technology. Followed by a panel discussion moderated by Michael Eck and featuring music producer/sound engineer Rob Fraboni (engineer of The Last Waltz, Northern Lights/Southern Cross), musician and Woodstock neighbor Happy Traum, Butch Dener (former tour manager for The Band), Peter Aaron (author of “The Band FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Fathers of Americana”) and photographer Elliott Landy (who documented The Band during the creation of their first two albums).

CONCERT: REV TOR BAND & FRIENDS PERFORM THE LAST WALTZ LIVE @ the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield
Friday, November 25, 8pm
$27.50
The Rev Tor Band and follow Berkshire musicians perform the music of The Last Waltz accompanied by a full horn section. Special guests include Dooley Austin, Whiskey City, the Picky Bastards, Misty Blues, Rebel Alliance, Whiskey Treaty Road Show, the Zarvis-Allen Band, Moondance, Bobby Sweet, Brian Benlien, Gina Coleman, Tony Gubelman, Billy Keane, Bernice Lewis, Michele Marano, Chris Merenda, Ed Moran, Pat Muraca, Daniel Osman, Rob Sanzone, Matt Tannenbaum, Mike “Woody” Wood and John Zarvis.

BOOKS: There are a number of new books about The Band on bookstore shelves, including Robbie’s Robertson’s new memoir, “Testimony” and Peter Aaron’s new book, “The Band FAQ. All That’s Left to Know About the Fathers of Americana.”

CD/DVD RE-ISSUES: THE LAST WALTZ
Three new versions of the classic live album have been re-issued via Rhino in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the concert. The Last Waltz re-issues are available in 2CD, 6LP, 4CD plus Blu-ray formats. And on Friday, December 9, the limited edition collector’s box set comes in a 4CD plus 2 Blu-ray format, with a 300-page book featuring the never-before-seen shooting script by director Martin Scorsese bound in faux red leather.

TALK: PICTURING THE BAND WITH PHOTOGRAPHER ELLIOTT LANDY @ The Egg’s Swyer Theatre, Albany
Saturday, December 3, 7pm
Free Admission
Photographer Elliott Landy documented the period during which The Band made their first two records, Music from Big Pink and The Band… with his now classic images gracing both albums. Elliott will discuss and show both rare and familiar photos from his archive of more than 12,000 images, many of which are featured in his recently published book “The Band Photographs: 1968-1969.” Followed by a Q&A.

CONCERT: “ROCK OF AGES” PERFORMED BY THE WEIGHT WITH THE KING HARVEST HORNS @ The Egg’s Hart Theatre, Albany
Friday, December 30, 7:30pm
$34
Celebrate The Band’s 1971 historic concert Rock of Ages with a special performance by The Weight, the Woodstock-based band featuring members of The Band, the Levon Helm Band and Rick Danko Group – Jim Weider, Randy Ciarlante, Brian Mitchell, Marty Grebb and Albert Rogers. They’ll be joined by the King Harvest Horns led by Clark Gayton and featuring the original horn arrangements by the late Allen Toussaint.

MUSIC: THE LAST WALTZ 40 @ the Palace Theatre, Albany
February 2, 8pm
$49.50, $59.50, $69.50, $79.50, $89.50, $125.50
“The Last Waltz 40 Tour: A Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of The Last Waltz” features an all-star line-up featuring Warren Haynes, Michael McDonald, Jamey Johnson, John Medeski, Don Was, Terence Higgins and special guests to be announced.