Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5
I guess that when you’re associated with one of the most iconic bands of the rock era, there’s almost a sense of duty to keep the spirit of that band alive once the original members have either gone doing other things, or in the case of three members now, gone forever. Jim Weider has been associated with The Band, the Woodstock-based quintet of musicians who between them released at least two landmark albums of the 1960s, toured with Bob Dylan during his most gruelling period, tolerating the wrath of disgruntled audiences throughout the world, and who went on to set an example for their many contemporaries to follow. The Weight Band has gone to great lengths to keep the spirit of The Band alive, playing their now iconic repertoire, but also writing and performing material that falls well within the musical remit of the original outfit. With Weider replacing Robbie Robertson in 1985, going on to contribute to three albums with The Band, Jericho, High on the Hog and Jubilation, the guitarist served his time with the band well. Now joined by other musicians with links to the original members of The Band, Michael Bram, Brian Mitchell, Matt Zeiner and Albert Rogers, Weider continues to write and perform in this vein, and with the release of this, their debut album, they come over as a tight band that shows no signs of flagging. Occasionally sounding eerily like their mentors, especially on such tracks as “Big Legged Sadie”, with its almost identical Rick Danko vocal together with Robbie’s idiosyncratic dampened guitar licks, existing fans should take to this very well. However, newcomers to The Band should start with Ronnie Hawkins and catch up first.