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The Band: Pioneers of Americana Music (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 4. April 2014

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Craig Harris has an obvious passion for Americana music in general, and for The Band in particular. This detailed account of one of our most iconic musical entities, and the scene that surrounded them, should be on the shelf of every fan of American roots music.--Happy Traum, guitarist, performer, owner of Homespun Music Instruction, Woodstock, NY

Craig Harris paints his masterpiece, guiding us through five decades of music history as seen by The Band. Drawing on interviews with Band members and their colleagues, Harris takes us with them to see how the Band and the music scene shaped each other from the 1960s to the 21st Century.--Art Menius, Executive Director, The ArtsCenter, Carrboro, NC

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Music provides a thread for author, educator, percussionist, and photographer Craig Harris. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Sing Out, Dirty Linen, Global Rhythm, All Music Guide, and he is the author of The New Folk Music (1991) and The Heartbeat, Warble and The Electric Powwow: Native America s Musical Tapestry (forthcoming). In addition to performing in concert and/or recording with Rod MacDonald, C. J. Chenier, Jonathan Edwards, Greg Brown, and the late Rick Danko, among others, he has presented his Drum Away the Blues program throughout New England."


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Amazon.com: 3.8 von 5 Sternen 15 Rezensionen
16 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Anna's Levon Daily 23. April 2014
Von Anna's Levon Daily - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Just a few short months ago, I didn't know who Craig Harris even was, let alone that he was writing a book about The Band. Only real Band fans can truly appreciate the gravity of knowing that such a thing exists. I got mine today, and I could not put it down. I thought I knew a lot about The Band and I did. After reading this book, I know even more. It is obviously written by a true fan, and musical scholar and will be much appreciated by legions of other fans who love this music. All his first editions are already sold out.

I found his story a wonderful addition to things I already knew, while filling in gaps that I didn't realize existed until today. It's a page turner. It's also historically sound, and amazing in its scope. He tells of the dreams and aspirations of each player, and how many were or were not realized. The research alone is vast. Any new comprehensive book about The Band has to be, and this is like having a Handy User's Guide of the roots of this pioneering music.

He tells of the birth of so many dreams my head was spinning. If you are a fan of The Band during their entire history, this book is a must read. It is obviously lovingly handled and explained beautifully, a story told from all kinds of sources in a format I long for most days, a BOOK! It harkens back to when I was breathlessly waiting for every Rolling Stone, snuck my brother's High Times, and immersed myself in the music to the extent that I did. MANY years ago I wrote concert reviews, naturally learning to pay close attention to everything in print about music. I find out I am not alone in my manic pursuit of the details and stories about this magical ensemble.

Because of my personal knowledge, I knew many of the stories, and Craig's sources for the information because they were the same as mine. And millions of Band fans will feel the same. But this is much more, and the glorious feeling of knowing more about my beloved Band and Levon Helm makes me feel like a kid who still hungers for the music news in print. It evokes that feel in the book as well. Names are named and connections are made clear. Any book that keeps and encourage people to learn about Levon Helm, and honor his memory, including Craig Harris' book is welcome to many fans who may have never seen him or The Band.

I thought I knew a lot about The Band, and I do, especially Levon. Craig's book lays out the history in reverent admiration that is genuine and reflects sentiments of the masses of nameless fans who feel the same way. One of my favorite passages discusses the relationship between Levon and Amy Helm as he struggled through chemo, and her selfless devotion to her dad is made crystal clear. Also, the joy Levon got from the realization of his dream of having her with him at the Rambles is clearly present, while also devoting equal, fair, and unbiased reporting about all the original members. The facts and history are painstakingly told in such a great way to help keep The Band, as well as Levon's spirit alive and well, along with Rick and Richard.

This book will be one that The Angel Band would applaud.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen A padded article, disguised as a book 27. Juni 2014
Von Joe S. Cline - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I've read Levon's book (This Wheel's On Fire) and one other volume on The Band (Across the Great Divide); I found both were of more use to fans of the band The Band than this very padded article trying to act as a book.

There were numerous mis-statements of fact, typographical errors, repeated quotes (in different chapters), digressions and extensive (and incorrect) "facts" about musicians with little direct relationships with The Band.

Despite Levon's obvious prejudices, I'd still consider This Wheel a better, and more germane, introduction to the music and history of The Band.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A brief overview of the seminal Americana band – The Band – but it is not a reference book. 24. Mai 2014
Von Steve Ramm - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
First off, I have to state that I know the author – Craig Harris – and consider him a friend. Every August Harris and I are usually side by side in the “photo pit” at the Philadelphia Folk Festival (and have been for the last 11 years). We sit around and talk about our common “folk music” interests. Craig told me last summer that his book on The Band was coming out this Spring and I was anxious to read it. We were both there when Levon Helm made his last appearance in Philly (and you’ll see Harri’s shot in the centerfold of this book. With that introduction, on to my review of the book.

I review a lot of books published by Rowman & Littlefield (mostly under their Scarecrow Press imprint) both here on Amazon, as well in print publications. R&L is known for producing detailed volumes used by researchers and all their hardcover books have sturdy “library” binding. Their books win awards – such as the ARSC Awards for Excellence from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections – and usually fill of discographic information as well as copious footnotes (sometimes filling one-third of a book.

Harris’; book on the seminal Americana band (though all but one member was from Canada) is different than any other book from R&L that I’ve read. That isn’t to say it is any less readable; it is just different.

There are two previous books on The Band and, though I haven’t read them, I know that they were published before Levon Helm’s chemo and passing. So it was time for an update for fans. And, yes, this is a book for fans and not a reference book. First off, the book is short – The text is only 194 pages, with a 17 page “index”. There is a 3/4-page “Bibliography” but no footnotes. In the requisite “Acknowledgements” pages in the front, Harris clearly states that most of the quotes used in the book come, not from interviews he personally conducted – though he did do some – but from the two books previously mentioned as well as articles and recording reviews written by others. The list he provides is lengthy. As you read through the book, Harris tells you where some of the quotes came from but not always. If this book is to be used by libraries as a reference book, then the accurate footnotes and sources are necessary. And Harris supplements his text with a 15 page section mid-book with 16 black and white photos he has taken of members of The Band (plus others of Peter, Paul & Mary , Al Kooper and Pete Seeger) but – with one exception (Levon at the 2010 Philly Folk Fest) the date and location are not provided.

I always enjoyed the recording of The Band and the solo work of Levon Helm but I can’t consider myself a “fan” in the sense of wanting to follow them. Maybe I’ve read some articles on them in the past, but I didn’t seek them out. Harris has done that work for me here – and this book could be considered a very long magazine article. And for that I like it. I like Harris’ writing style. But I know that those “Band fans” that have read everything published about them may find the book repetitive as most quotes have been published before. If, however, you are like me, you’ll find this an easy, and interesting read, though , the usual $40.00 list price that R&L books sell for, may deter some from purchasing it. (Remember that R&L books have that VERY STURDY binding.

Here is some additional info I hope those reading this review will find helpful:
Shortly after the book was published, and before I received my copy, R&L sent me an Errata sheet with corrections that were missed by the R&L editors. The cover letter said that it would be inserted in the next – the THIRD – print run. I looked at the book that I received and I see no notation of the Edition. But when I checked the correction list I noted they were not reflected. So I obviously received an earlier edition. I’m glad that the corrections were made and will offer those buying copies on Amazon a way to know if you have the uncorrected edition. Go to Page 6, 5th paragraph, and see if it says “Margo Meyer’s” (incorrect version) or “Margot Mayo’s” (corrected version). If you have the earlier edition you can contact the publisher via their website for an “Errata” sheet.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
“Anything Phonographic”
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen An overview of the group that was The Band 21. Mai 2015
Von The Booker - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
At times it seemed this book was more about Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan than it was about the musicians in The Band. Both Hawkins and Dylan were important factors in the group’s formation and popularity, but I finished wanting to know more about the individual Band members.
I guess this can be justified by the actual length of time The Band was together. The classic line-up responsible for the hit songs, albums and film The Last Waltz, was short-lived. Their groupings and re-groupings as The Hawks (backing Hawkins), hooking up with Dylan, retreat from New York City to Woodstock, and developing their Americana back-to-the-roots music is the heart of the story. It was also about their musicianship. It’s made very clear that while other artists in the late 60’s and early 70’s were wind milling, posing and jiving onstage, The Band was more interested in keeping their showmanship on low voltage to concentrate on playing good music.
There were insights on each member, though as mentioned I would’ve liked more. Of particular interest was Levon Helm’s anger toward Robbie Robertson for being cut out of songwriting credits and having the rug pulled out from under The Band’s career when Robertson and film director Martin Scorsese staged The Last Waltz. The all-star concert and hit film marked the end of The Band. According to Helm, the concept was Robertson’s idea as a way to leave the group, even though the other members weren’t ready or agreeable to it.
The remainder of the book concentrated on the members’ solo careers and various attempts at reforming without Robertson, their chief songwriter. Richard Manuel, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson are each worthy of his own book, or at least an individual chapter in this one. Every song ever recorded by the members seemed to be listed, along with many musicians in The Band’s circle that were major, minor, or unknown except to die-hard fans. Even with some musical knowledge, I found many of the players and circumstances to be somewhat confusing and skimmed over these segments.
In all, this is a decent overview of The Band and their music. It’s not a definitive biography, but worth reading if you’re already a fan.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen maybe the best book yet on the band 24. Juni 2014
Von Michael S. Cain - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The Band, one of rock‘s truly legendary groups, had a long and colorful career. Originally from Canada -- only Levon Helm was American, from Arkansas -- they were put together by American emigrant rockabilly singer, Ronnie Hawkins, and served, under the name, the Hawks, as his backing band. After serving their apprenticeship with Hawkins, they went out on their own as Levon and the Hawks, and after meeting Bob Dylan, became his backing band when he went electric. In 1968, they left Dylan and recorded one of the seminal albums of that or any other day, Music From Big Pink. With their album set for release, they realized they needed a name. Since when they were backing Dylan, they were always known as the Band, they adopted that name and went on to become legendary, until the usual things -- drugs, money, interband politics and jealousies broke them up.

Those are the bare facts, the ones everybody knows In this book, veteran music writer Craig Harris goes way beyond the facts, telling almost everything that happened each step off the way. Although Harris is a fan, this is not a fan book; he tells the truth about the band, the good and the bad. It’s a fascinating read, if you love the work of the band, as I do, and it’s maybe the best introduction to the group you’ll find if you’re aren’t already familiar with them and their work.

The members of the band were all complex personalities, huge bundles of contradictions whose mercurial egos and personal quirks make it a wonder that they lasted as long as they did. Theirs was one of those situations where the group was stronger than the individuals who comprised it. John Steinbeck, back in the 1940’s, offered a theory that he developed studying men in groups and fish in schools. The group, he said, made up a single organism and the individuals inside it were like cells in that organism; they each had their individual lives but their lives as members of the group were more central to the survival of the group. That’s the way it was with The Band during their glory years, until suddenly it wasn’t like that anymore, when the needs of the individuals became larger than those of the group.

Harris details it all. He writes from research, with fresh interviews from the surviving band members and archival research on those who have passed. He details each tour, each recording, discussing how the songs were written and how the records were made. And he covers the feud between Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson that caused so much bad feeling and kept the band from ever returning in its original form after the breakup, a disbanding Helm said only Robertson wanted.

One of the major strengths, as well as one of the weaknesses of Harris’s book is his objectivity. He reports without judging or taking sides. Readers are left free to draw their own conclusions, which is good, but in the case of Levon Helm’s accusations that Robbie Robertson stole material from the others and copyrighted it as his own, listing himself as sole writer of songs they all worked on, a situations] that left Helm so bitter that he would not attend The Band’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I felt the book would be strengthened if Harris had dropped some of is objectivity and searched a little deeper for the truth of the situation. On the whole, though, his objectivity makes for a better and more trustworthy book.

There’s a lot of material out there on the band. Craig Harris’s book doesn’t just join the parade, it leads it.

-- Michael Scott Cain
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