Garth Hudson: Garth Hudson Presents A Canadian Celebration Of The Band

Garth Hudson CD

Curve/Sony


A Canadian concept whose time has come curated by the originator best equipped to do the job. Accordingly, this is not a ‘greatest hits’ project and Garth Hudson’s choice of tunes from The Band to be re-worked by an eclectic crew of Canadians, is bound to furrow a brow or two.


And unless you’re a Raine Maida fan it’s not all good news. For the most part, the match of singer and song makes for tasty treats in a variety of styles.

 

The Sadies shine throughout and do a damn fine job of re-creating the barroom backing band spirit of the early The Band. Never better than on a rip roarin’ ride through ‘This Wheel’s On Fire’ fronting Neil Young as dude bawls and shreds it like the joint’s ablaze.


Then they turn on a dime with nine cents change to help Mary Margaret O’Hara conjure up the spooky vibe of ‘Out Of The Blue’. 

 

Elsewhere, Bruce Cockburn brings his A game to ‘Sleeping’, little-known Road Hammers funk up ‘Yazzo Street Scandal’ courtesy of inspired work from the backline and Chantal Kreviazuk does a great job of representing the household by drenching ‘Tears Of rage’ in womanly soul. Underpinning every track, just as he did with the originals, is Garth Hudson’s piano and keyboard playing, weaving the connecting threads between then and this.


Only glaring omission from the lineup is Stompin’ Tom Connors. Would’ve liked to hear him take a run at ‘Up On Cripple Creek’, which didn’t make the cut here. Maybe on Vol: 2.


A sonic treat for old heads and young pups alike.

 

James Lizzard