Earlier in June, two months after the death of Levon Helm, the drummer and strongest singer in The Band, I received an email with the subject line, “The Band Reunion.” This was curious because they were a five-piece—Rick Danko, Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson—and there’s very little left of them now. Mr. Hudson and Mr. Robertson are the only surviving members and, aside from an appearance at the 1994 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the two have rarely played music together since the Band’s full line-up performed their final show in 1976. This reunion, at the Iridium Jazz Club last Friday night, would be no exception. Mr. Hudson was sitting in on a set with Jim Weider, who replaced Mr. Robertson as lead guitarist when The Band reformed in the ’80s, but that was good enough for me: there’s enough of a legend to The Band that simply being in the same room as the man who played accordion on “When I Paint My Masterpiece” feels downright significant. There’s a lot of history, too, most of which has ended in tragedy. Read More
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