The Band: Pioneers Of American Music
Through interviews with musicians, like Eric Andersen and Pete Seeger who played with them as well as the members of the original lineup — Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson — we learn about The Band’s history, along with the history of the late 50s and early 60s touring scene in both Canada and the U.S. We get pretty much the full story about Bob Dylan’s early years and him going electric (an especially interesting part of the book made very vivid indeed by Robertson’s recollections) and how a whole bunch of musicians came to decamp in Woodstock and make great music in a pink house.
Harris dissects each of The Band’s albums, the individual member’s solo releases, other’s contributions and lists songs that showed up later in various places. His research is extensive, but the overall pace through these 200 pages is breezy and entertaining. I really loved of The Band: Pioneers of American Music, but then again I love The Band. Their story surely needed to be told beyond just all that wonderful music they made. Harris tells it wonderfully.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.