the whole congregation was standing

The Band

Originally rising to prominence as Bob Dylan’s backing group, the quintet known simply and authoritatively as The Band later emerged as one of rock music’s most seminal acts. Crafting highly literate, austerely luminous songs probing the mythology of the American experience (the great irony of their work, given the Canadian origins of all but one of their members), their music fused the rural beauty of old-time country and blues with the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll to forge a uniquely evocative aesthetic far removed from the work of their contemporaries.

The Band comprised guitarist J.R. “Robbie” Robertson, pianist Richard Manuel, organist Garth Hudson, bassist Rick Danko and drummer Levon Helm; Robertson was the unit’s chief songwriter, and Manuel, Danko and Helm shared vocal duties. The group slowly came together under the tutelage of American rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins, who first hired the Arkansas-born Helm before relocating to Toronto at the close of the 1950s, where he gradually recruited the other four musicians to round out his backing unit, dubbed the Hawks.

source: The Band Biography

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