Rick Danko Band
Live On Breeze Hill
I sorta dreaded listening to this. I’ve been a long-time fan of the Band, and I’ve always appreciated the skills of both Rick Danko and Garth Hudson, but I doubted their ability to carry an entire album. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a rather charming little piece of work.
They do rely heavily on Band material here. I suppose that there’s more than one reason for this. I’d imagine that any crowd at a live show would run them off the stage if they didn’t do most of these songs. The selection of songs is about what you’d expect. The Band songs include “Stage Fright,” “Ophelia,” “Caledonia Mission,” “Shape I’m In,” and “It Makes No Difference,” as well as a very different version of “Chest Fever.” The surprise for me was their cover of J.J. Cale’s “Crazy Mama.”
Danko, Hudson, and Aaron “Louie” Hurwitz make up the nucleus of this group. They are ably aided on this recording by the likes of Tom “Bones” Malone, Jim Weider, Lenny Pickett, and Roger Mason. It’s a good record. It’d never match any of their work with the Band, but it’s decent, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Greenpeace.