About The Band
The Band

The Band

The Band was a Canadian-American rock group formed in Toronto, Ontario, in 1967. Originally the backing band for Ronnie Hawkins and later Bob Dylan, the group released its debut album, Music from Big Pink, in 1968 to critical acclaim. Described by music critic Bruce Eder as "one of the most popular and influential rock groups in the world, their music embraced by critics ... as seriously as the music of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones". The Band combined elements of Americana, folk, rock, jazz, country, and R&B, influencing subsequent musicians such as the Eagles, Elton John, the Grateful Dead, the Flaming Lips, and Wilco. The band consisted of four Canadians and one American: Rick Danko (bass guitar, vocals, fiddle), Garth Hudson (keyboards, accordion, saxophone), Richard Manuel (keyboards, drums, vocals), Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals), and Levon Helm (drums, vocals, mandolin, guitar). Between 1958 and 1963, the band was the Hawks, a backing band for rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins. In the mid-1960s it gained recognition backing Bob Dylan, and the 1966 tour was notable as Dylan's first with an electric band. After leaving Dylan and changing its name to "The Band", it released several albums to critical and popular acclaim, highlighted by the songs "The Weight" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". According to AllMusic, its influence on several generations of musicians has been substantial: Roger Waters called Music from Big Pink the second most influential record in the history of rock and roll, and music journalist Al Aronowitz called its "country soul ... a sound never heard before". The group was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2004 Rolling Stone ranked it 50th on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time, and in 2008 it received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004, "The Weight" was ranked 41st on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. In 2014, the Band was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.

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