August 2: Happy Birthday Garth Hudson

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August 2: Garth Hudson was born in 1937

Hudson was just as crucial to the very different sounds made in the Basement the year afterwards: especially since in large part it was Garth who tape-recorded those unique, informal sessions, and had the sense to look after, afterwards, all the dozens of unknown-about extra ones beyond those of immediate interest to Dylan’s music publisher, and which only began to circulate decades later.

Hudson was also the musicians’ musician—and actually gave the other Hawks music lessons—and when the Hawks became the Crackers became The Band, he was the multi-instrumentalist supreme in a group of multi-instrumentalists. If The Band introduced a small orchestra’s worth of olde worlde instruments to mainstream rock music, it was Hudson who had introduced many of them to The Band.
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)

Members of The Band Accept Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Award at 1994 Inductions:

Eric Garth Hudson (b. August 2, 1937) is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist. As the organist, keyboardist and saxophonist for Canadian-American rock group The Band, he was a principal architect of the group’s unique sound. Hudson has been called “the most brilliant organist in the rock world” by Time Magazine and “the first true rock keyboard virtuoso” by Keyboard Magazine.

“Hudson has not slowed down over the years, playing and recording with a variety of artists during the ’90s and into the new millennium, including frequent appearances, both studio and live, with Professor Louie & the Crowmatix. In 1998, Hudson was prominently featured on the star-studded Dvorák-inspired concept album Largo (which had a live performance at Vassar College in 2001). In September 2001, Hudson released his “official” solo debut, The Sea to the North, on Breeze Hill Records. His only previous solo release was 1980’s Our Lady Queen of the Angels, a score he wrote for an exhibit by sculptor Tony Duquette.” (Erik Hage, Allmusic)

The Band:

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The Band was a roots rock group that originally consisted of Rick Danko (bass guitar, double bass, fiddle, trombone, vocals), Levon Helm (drums, mandolin, guitar, vocals), Garth Hudson (keyboard instruments, saxophones, trumpet), Richard Manuel (piano, drums, baritone saxophone, vocals) and Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals). The members of the Band first came together as they joined rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins’s backing group, The Hawks, one by one between 1958 and 1963.

In 1964, they separated from Hawkins, after which they toured and released a few singles as Levon and the Hawks and the Canadian Squires. The next year, Bob Dylan hired them for his U.S. tour in 1965 and world tour in 1966. Following the 1966 tour, the group moved with Dylan to Saugerties, New York, where they made the informal 1967 recordings that became The Basement Tapes, which forged the basis for their 1968 debut album Music from Big Pink. Because they were always “the band” to various frontmen, Helm said the name “The Band” worked well when the group came into its own. The group began performing officially as The Band in 1970, and went on to release ten studio albums. Dylan continued to collaborate with The Band over the course of their career, including a joint 1974 tour.

 

Here is a rare video of Levon Helm, Rick Danko & Garth Hudson) performing “Up On Cripple Creek”:

ExploreMusic talks to Garth Hudson (The Band) pt1:

ExploreMusic talks to Garth Hudson (The Band) pt2:

ExploreMusic talks to Garth Hudson (The Band) pt3:

– Hallgeir & Egil

Sources: Wikipedia, Allmusic, Uncut, Youtube