Friday, July 27, 2012

Danko Tribute: Lots of Music

So Rick Danko has been on my mind this week. I took a long drive to Indianapolis on Wednesday (about a three hour drive) and I listened to The Grateful Dead on the way there and Bob Dylan and The Band on the way back. The music on the ride back was just perfect, of couse I love the dead, but The Band really what I needed. Although the band has three amazing vocalists, who all have a  very unique and different sound, I rather love Danko's sound. I feel that Danko takes the passionate and energetic songs, Richard Manual takes the painful songs and Levon takes the rest. But I really do believe that they are three of the best voices in rock and roll. I am currently sitting in front of my computer and listening to the Rick Danko channel on You Tube and I am finding alot of songs that I have not heard sung by Ricky, and I am enjoying it very much.

This post is for you R'anko!

This is a song originally written by Electric Light Orchestra, the song built along the bass line, but this version sung by Danko seems to be built around his sweet voice. Listen to the original. I believe that Garth Hudson is in the background on the B-3, I mean who else could make those sounds. He adds a nice touch. 
Here is another classic Rick Danko song, word written by the nicest guy on earth Robbie Robertson (If you know anything about the Band you will realize how sarcastic I am being.) Danko is famous for a style on bass which has been coined scooping, he hits the stoccato quick notes with his pick, right before the down beat on the first beat. So hear him scoop! His voice is so emphatic and painful in this number. Paul Butterfield...need I say more. Listen to him go!
Not many people know this, but when Rick Danko joined The Hawks, he was a rhythm guitar player, and this shows some of this talent. I love his voice in this song, and I love this song in general, its another one of my favorites. As you can see has has put on some weight by this point in his life, but he still sings like an angel. They Say that on the day Rick was born the angels sang. Rick sang harmony!
When ever Danko is bouncing you know the music is hot! His bass is a thumbing and he sounds really good. I love what he does to this song. He also has awesome hair!

This is another song where Danko shines. THis song does not quite have the recognition that some of the other The Band songs do. I heard it for the first time on The Band: A Musical History, which I strongly recommend to everybody. It comes with a book as well, and its very interesting! I would get your hands on it, I know it is in many public libraries. Richard Manuel takes a delightful little piano break! Robbie comes in with some sweet licks also.

Off course we can not leave out Danko amazing performance of It Makes No Difference from The Last Waltz, which is a concert every music fan needs to hear. I personally like Rock of Ages more because of the song selection, but The Last Waltz is Epic. I do not agree with the way the movie was portrayed. Levon Helm is right, the director made it look like Robbie Robertson was the lead guy. Which is no the case.

 In fact, The band partially took the name because they wanted to be a band of brothers. They had no true leader, and if they did have a leader it would have been Levon, not Robbie. It is important to not confuse the Last Waltz the Concert, with the movie. Soon after the concert Richard Manuel would take his life. 

The last song I want to share is Unfaithful Servant, a beautiful and painful song that really is a showcase to the Danko's pipes. I mean listen to the words, the emotion, the darkness, the pain, and the angst in his voice and how Hudson is horn arrangements and saxophone work embodies everything. I really want to make one bold statement, I believe that this song has the most powerful guitar solo in rock and roll. The staccato and the harmonics, every single note in the whole things is pristine, divine and intended. Every time I hear it, I shut my eyes and nearly cry. I can not imagine how difficult it is to place this, with all of the pinch harmonics, fast hammering and string bending. I mean Robbie Robertson is a dick, but man he can play!

And how about the version performed by Danko and Butterfield, this harp solo is also heart wrenching!

Well, I hope you learned something and enjoy the music!


1 comment :

  1. I have no idea what triggered my listening to Band music today, but I stumbled on your site and it is AWESOME. I love the videos and the songs. Thank you so much for putting it together. Rest in peace, Rick, Richard and Levon.