The THE BAND Band Brings “Stage Fright” to The Woodstock Playhouse
WOODSTOCK — Recorded in Woodstock 51 years ago right here on the site of the original Woodstock Playhouse, Stage Fright was The Band’s third studio album, featuring two of its best-known songs, “The Shape I’m In” and the eponymous “Stage Fright” both of which became staples at the Canadian-American group’s live shows.
While the COVID pandemic delayed a true 50th-year celebration of the album, The THE BAND Band, (the only nationally touring band dedicated exclusively to the accurate reproduction of The Band’s music) is thrilled to announce it is bringing it back to The Woodstock Playhouse on August 27th and 28th, with authentic, true-to-form renditions of the 10 featured album tracks, and others from an extraordinary repertoire. For this special event, The THE BAND Band will be accompanied by the TTBB Horns and special guest Larry Packer on fiddle, who played with The Band at The Last Waltz, the seminal concert at San Francisco’s Winterland Arena on Thanksgiving Day, 1976.
Gary Solomon, the co-founder of The THE BAND Band, was first introduced to the group by his older sister when she literally indoctrinated him into this “roots rock” world by gifting him with a vinyl copy of Stage Fright for his 13th birthday, the first LP he would own. A few years later, a 19-year-old Solomon found himself in the audience at The Last Waltz, what he still refers to as “the most incredible musical happening I have ever experienced, or probably ever will.” Solomon adds that he has an almost spiritual connection with Stage Fright and has been thinking about recreating a live performance of the album with The THE BAND Band for years. That it comes to fruition this summer, post pandemic, speaks to what a true labor of love this show will be, both for the musicians and the audience.
As noted, Stage Fright was recorded at the original Woodstock Playhouse, with Todd Rundgren serving as engineer. Built in 1938, the Playhouse hosted The Band and other iconic artists from that period throughout the 1960s; a series of performances known as Sound-Outs took place at the Playhouse in 1968 which are generally acknowledged as the precursor to the Woodstock Festival. Though the original Playhouse was destroyed in a fire in 1988, the symbolic importance of playing Stage Fright here on hallowed ground has been something that Solomon set his mind to years ago. Next month, it becomes a reality.
Gaining critical acclaim since they started touring in 2007, The THE BAND Band brings the music of The Band alive with authentic, true-to-form renditions of their legendary catalog. From hit songs such as “The Weight,” “Up On Cripple Creek,” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” and deep cuts from its classic albums to its historic collaborations with Bob Dylan, The THE BAND Band delivers with the passion and commitment for which The Band was renowned.
The THE BAND Band has shared the stage with Richie Havens, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Aztec Two-Step, Marshall Crenshaw and more; and the individual band members have performed or toured with original Band members Rick Danko and Levon Helm, as well as Chuck Berry, John Hall, Steve Forbert, Roy Rogers, Robbie Dupree, Max Weinberg, Maria Muldaur, Genya Ravan, Jimmy Vivino, The Shirelles, and others.
The THE BAND Band is Gary Solomon (bass, vocals), Jack Kraft (keyboards, accordion, mandolin, vocals), Josh Radin (guitar, vocals), Loren Korevec (piano, vocals), and Matt Crawford (drums, vocals). The TTBB Horns are Dana Watson (trumpet), David Fox (sax), and Jason Ingram (trombone).