Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Various Artists--Endless Highway: The Music of the Band (New!)

Artist-Various Artists
Album-Endless Highway: The Music of the Band
Release Date-Jan 30, 2007
Label-Savoy Jazz

Track Listings
1. I Shall Be Released -- Jack Johnson
2. The Weight -- Lee Ann Womack
3. Makes No Difference -- My Morning Jacket
4. When I Paint My Masterpiece -- Josh Turner
5. Unfaithful Servant -- Roseanne Cash
6. Rockin' Chair -- Death Cab for Cutie
7. King Harvest -- Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers
8. Whispering Pines -- Jakob Dylan w/ Lizz Wright
9. Chest Fever -- Widespread Panic
10. Lookout Cleveland -- Jackie Greene
11. Wheel's on Fire -- Guester
12. Down on Cripple Creek -- Gomez
13. Stage Fright -- Steve Reynolds
14. Night They Drove Old Dixie Down -- Allman Bros. Band
15. Rag Mama Rag -- Blues Traveler
16. Life Is A Carnival -- Trevor Hall
17. Acadian Driftwood -- The Roches

Personal Rating-I mentioned this album before. You can find more info and listen all songs online before you decide to download the whole album here:

Review-The Band's highway actually ended in 1978 at The Last Waltz, with the departure of founding member, guitarist, and principal songwriter Robbie Robertson. Considered by many to be ground zero of the roots-and-Americana movement despite being four-fifths Canadian, their decade-long Robertson-led run produced a handful of undeniable classics and volumes of timeless and influential music. So it's somewhat surprising that no one has released a tribute album to this legendary group until now. But after listening to these 17 tracks, it's clear why. Even with the best of intentions, many of these versions fail to capture the emotion and intensity of the original performances. All but the UK's Gomez are American-based, yet with a few notable exceptions, the acts either mimic the Band's already archetypal arrangements or add nothing unique. Bruce Hornsby sings the lyrics of the touching "King Harvest" like he's reading them off cue cards, Guster zip through a chilly "This Wheel's on Fire" with little emotional attachment, and Jack Johnson's folksy "I Shall Be Released" squanders the song's gospel tendencies. The women fare far better, with Lee Ann Womack nailing the subtleties of "The Weight" in a lovely, nuanced country interpretation, the Roches' unplugged sisterly harmonies bringing a gorgeous and appropriate back-porch feel to "Acadian Driftwood," and Rosanne Cash turning in a tender and touching "The Unfaithful Servant." Jakob Dylan and Lizz Wright do justice to the sensitive "Whispering Pines" and rockers Widespread Panic, the Allman Brothers Band, and My Morning Jacket add appropriate Southern grit to their selections. Ultimately, though, these covers make you appreciate how flawlessly the Band realized their own music and provided consummate arrangements that cannot be improved on.


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