Replicating the music of The Band is a tall order. But interpreting the music of The Band is an art. Songs that have reverberated across history for decades continue to speak to millions of us. And The Weight, a five-piece ensemble featuring Jim Weider from The Band, Brian Mitchell, Matt Zeiner, Michael Bram and Albert Rogers who has shared the stage with Levon Helm and Garth Hudson remains a vehicle through which we can continue to share those stories and dance to those back beats.
HOST ARTISTS - THE WEIGHT BAND
Jim Weider is a former member of THE BAND. From 1985 to 2000, Jim replaced Robbie Robertson as their lead guitarist, writing songs and performing on their three studio albums, Jericho, High on the Hog and Jubilation. He toured internationally with original Band members Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and Rick Danko for fifteen years and was featured with them on numerous albums, films, videos and television appearances. Jim is a current member of Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Band and his group ProJECT Percolator.
Brian Mitchell is a current member of Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Band and is well-known within the circles of the music industry and beyond for his solo career and his high-profile collaborations. He has recorded and performed with some of music's most respected artists, Levon Helm, Bob Dylan, Al Green, B.B. King, and countless others.
Albert Rogers, bass and vocals, hails from North Carolina, where he played with Blue Eyed Soul hitmaker, Grayson Hugh. In 2000,he joined Jim Weider and the Honky Tonk Gurus which led to sharing the stage with Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Hubert Summerlin, Albert Lee, and many others. Later he returned to NC and has been performing with Award Winning Swamp Soul Master, Jim Quick, as a member of the Coastline Band. In 2014, making his first solo record, Albert found himself back in Upstate NY with former band mates Jim Weider and Randy Ciarlante at The Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, NY. This set the stage for his current role as newest member of The Weight.
Matt Zeiner began his career with Hartford’s Street Temperature band, then hit the road with Matt “Guitar” Murphy of Blues Brothers fame. During this time, he met David “Lefty” Foster and began working on and off with what was then the Shaboo Allstars – a regional super group with a rotating cast. Matt then toured extensively with Dickey Betts, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. Over the years, he's performed with, produced and/or written for Jeff Pevar, Melvin Sparks, Zach Deputy, Ryan Montbleau, Jaimoe (Allman Brothers), and many others.
Michael Bram (drums & vocals) is soulful singer and multi-instrumentalist. Michael “Leroy” Bram most recently toured with Jason Mraz for seven years, and before that was a staple in the New York music scene. Career highlights include working with Willie Nelson, and recording tracks with Bob Margolin of The Last Waltz fame. Michael’s connection to The Band comes by way of the extended community who played at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY where for many years he drummed in the Chris O’Leary Band, an offshoot of players from Levon’s band, The Barnburners.
SPECIAL GUEST ARTISTS
Three Original Members of Little Feat
Paul Barrere (guitar, vocals), Fred Tackett (guitar) & Kenny Gradney (bass)
Paul Barrere plays guitar and slide guitar, and sings lead and background vocals for Little Feat.
Paul Barrere joined Little Feat for the band's third album Dixie Chicken, and has been with the band since. During Little Feat's early 80's hiatus, Paul led the group Chicken Legs. Since Little Feat's return with "Let it Roll", Paul has stepped more into the spotlight.
Paul's guitar, vocals, and songwriting are now an important part of the Little Feat sound. In addition to his work with Little Feat, Paul Barrere has also recorded and performed with many other fine musicians including: Chicken Legs, the Blues Busters (featuring Catfish Hodge), Valerie Carter, Chico Hamilton, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Palmer, and Carly Simon.
Paul has a solo album out on Zoo Entertainment called If the Phone Don't Ring . This is a compilation of material from Paul's On My Own Two Feat and Real Lies albums.
Hailing from Arkansas, Fred Tackett worked as a side man on many Little Feat albums before becoming a full member of the band for Let It Roll. Along with his fine guitar work, Fred's mandolin and trumpet have become a featured part of the Little Feat sound.
Robert Palmer writes about Fred Tackett's early years in Rock and Roll: An Unruly History
In addition to his work with the Feat, Fred has a very large discography of work with other artists.
Here are just some of the artists Fred has recorded with:
Allman Brothers, Greg Allman, Rory Block, Jackson Browne, Glen Campbell, Eric Carmen, Valerie Carter, Judy Collins, Rita Coolidge, Bob Dylan, Lowell George, Vince Gill, Rickie Lee Jones, Nicolette Larson, Juice Newton, Aaron Neville, Van Dyke Parks, Bonnie Raitt, Lionel Richie, Leo Sayer, Carly Simon, Boz Scaggs, Rod Stewart, Harry Nilsson, Bob Seger, Ringo Starr, Tom Waits, the Wallflowers, and Jimmy Webb
Kenny Gradney has provided the foundation for the Little Feat sound since joining the band for the Dixie Chicken album.
A Louisiana native, Kenny is a master of bass technique. Kenny Gradney compliments his live playing with his good humor and crowd pleasing antics.
In addition to his work with Little Feat, Kenny has also played and recorded with many fine musicians including: Delaney and Bonnie, Bob Weir's Bobby and the Midnites, Warren Zevon, Chico Hamilton, Robert Palmer, and Carly Simon.
BREWER & SHIPLEY
Recognized as one of the most successful folk rock duos of the 70's, Brewer & Shipley have remained true to their original form for an astonishing 5 decades.
Although best known for their Top 10 signature song, "One Toke Over The Line" which permanently etched their names in rock history by becoming an anthem of the 70's counter culture, Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley were by no means a one trick pony. In all, the duo landed 3 singles on the Billboard charts and had the pleasure of working with such notables as Mike Bloomfield, Leon Russell, Jimmy Messina, and the late Jerry Garcia.
Constantly touring Brewer & Shipley could be found performing in such notable venues as; Carnegie Hall, The Bottom Line, The Troubadour, The Roxy, Keil Opera House, and Arrowhead Stadium. Because of their broad appeal, they became a favored support act for major tours, sharing the stage with a diverse list of artists, including: Elton John, The Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Bonnie Raitt, Electric Light Orchestra, Jethro Tull, Humble Pie, Ted Nugent and Black Sabbath among others.
In recent years, the duo has witnessed rejuvenated interest in their music, beginning with BMG's purchase of their catalog and subsequent re-issue of the critically acclaimed "Tarkio" release. This was soon followed by the inclusion of "One Toke Over The Line" on the "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas Limited Edition 25th Anniversary CD" (Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Rcds). The same song was later featured on the "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" motion picture soundtrack (Geffen Rcds.). In addition, the duo was invited to contribute guest vocals to their trademark song on "Hempilation II" (Capricorn Rcds.).
Brewer & Shipley continue to tour and record regularly, having released 2 albums of original material since reuniting - "Shanghai" and "Heartland.” Regarding Brewer & Shipley, Ron Sylvester (The Branson Note) wrote, "An actual group from the 70's still capable of making vital music...For a duo best remembered as 70's folkies, this is a solid blast into the present...undeniable proof these guys can still make evocative music".
Dobro, steel guitar and lap steel player Cindy Cashdollar’s career has taken some surprising twists and turns that have led her to work with many leading artists in various genres; including Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Dave Alvin, Rod Stewart, Albert Lee, Asleep At The Wheel, Marcia Ball, Jorma Kaukonen, Leon Redbone, BeauSoleil, Daniel Lanois, Redd Volkaert, & Peter Rowan. Cindy’s unerring ability to perfectly complement a song or step out with a tasteful, imaginative, and exciting solo – and to do it in so many musical genres – has made her one of the most in-demand musicians on the American roots music scene.
Cindy first heard the unique sliding sound of the Dobro in her hometown of Woodstock, New York where she honed her skills playing with bluegrass legend John Herald, blues great Paul Butterfield, Levon Helm and Rick Danko of The Band, and many others who lived in the small but musically rich Catskill mountain town. Eight years and thousands of miles on the road with the premier western swing group Asleep At The Wheel helped her introduce the classic sounds of the non-pedal steel to enthusiastic audiences worldwide, and brought her five Grammy Awards and opportunities to work with musicians of the caliber of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton and and many other landmark artists.
Cindy was also inducted into the Texas Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame (the first female to be inducted) in 2011, and the Texas Music Hall Of Fame in 2012. The Americana Music Association nominated her in the category of Instrumentalist Of The Year in 2016. In great demand as a teacher, Cindy has given many workshops and produced four instructional DVD’s, internationally distributed through Homespun Tapes.
Her debut CD “Slide Show” features many guest artists comprising a Who’s Who of roots music, including Sonny Landreth, Jorma Kaukonen, Marcia Ball, Redd Volkaert, Herb Remington, Mike Auldridge, Steve James, and many others.
And in answer to her most frequently asked question, yes, Cashdollar is a real name.
String musician (guitar, violin, viola and mandolin) Larry Packer began his career as teenager accompanying country blues great Paul Geremia. At a performance at Greenwich Village’s Bitter End, he was approached about replacing two members of a band based in NYC called Cat Mother and The All-night Newsboys. The band relocated to Woodstock, where they were heard by Jimi Hendrix’s manager . This led to going on the road with Hendrix for 1968-9, recording their first album with Jimi producing; “Good Old Rock n’ Roll” was a top-20 hit in 1969. The band opened for THE BAND for their first NYC appearance at the Fillmore East on the “Music from Big Pink” tour. They recorded their next record in Haight-Ashbury, sharing the studio with the Grateful Dead, and eventually relocated to Mendocino. Larry left Cat Mother and became lead guitarist with Sha-Na-Na for 1970-71, including appearances in “The Festival Express” and WNET-TV’s “Live at the Fillmore East”, and Flip Wilson’s 1970 X-mas Eve Special. Road gigs with Harry Belafonte, David Bromberg, Steve Goodman, Jerry Jeff Walker, Peter Rowan, Billy Vera, Johnny Maestro, Bill Keith and Jim Rooney, Lou Reed, Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s first U.S. and European tours, Maria Muldaur, Garland Jeffries, Happy and Artie Traum. Larry played with the horns in The Band’s 1975 appearances at NYC’s Palladium and Philly’s Tower Theatre, and joined them again in 1976 for “The Last Waltz” concert and film. He later played with Levon Helm’s Woodstock All-Stars in the mid 80’s along with bandmates Jimmy Weider, Randy Ciarlante, Cindi Cashdollar, Stan Szylest and Frank Campbell. Recordings with all of the above, and many, many others including Phoebe Snow, Jonathan Edwards, David Lasley, John Herald, Sunny Day Real Estate, Space Hog, Tim Hardin, Rosalie Sorrels, Jean Ritchie’s Grammy-nominated “Christmas in Kentucky”, Jay Black, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson,The Band’s “Islands” and “High on The Hog” albums, Hall and Oates’ “Abandoned Luncheonette” album.
He was 2000 Artist-in-Residence at SUNY-Ulster and twice at St. Lawrence University, once with composer David Amram, whose quintet he played with for several years at venues like BAM, Madison Square Garden and Town Hall. As a member of Ed Summerlin’s Contemporary Jazz Ensemble, he was featured in concerts with Ron Carter and Lee Konitz. In 2016, he was inducted into the New York State Blues Hall of Fame along with Rory Block and John Platania. He founded the Woodstock String Quartet, played in the Broadway production of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”, road shows of “The Robber Bridegroom” with John Goodman as the dashing leading man, including the summer of 1976 at Ford’s Theatre in D.C. .In 1975 Larry can be seen on the 3rd show of the first “Saturday Night Live” season playing a square dance with Dan Ackroyd as caller and John Belushi hurling himself around the stage; years later he played SNL behind Johnny Cash!
For 23 years, Larry has performed and toured with the internationally popular Albany-based Celtic-rock band “Hair of the Dog”, including 9 Ireland tours and appearances at festivals all over the U.S.. He released a solo cd “Eye Of The Sun” on Woodstock Records, assisted by friends like Garth Hudson, Tom “Bones” Malone, the great guitarists Ed Diehl and Steve Burgh, and bassist “Big Mike” Dunn, sadly all 3 are no longer with us. He continues to remain active as sideman and session musician in a wide variety of genres.
Randy Ciarlante is a musician best known for his work with The Band. He joined The Band in 1990, singing harmony vocals and playing drums. He played and sang on The Band's albums from the 1990s, including Jubilation and High on the Hog. After The Band dissolved, he joined the Jim Weider Band from 1998–2006 and continues to play occasionally with Jim Weider's Percolator band. In 2006, he joined The Organiks, a band based in Woodstock, New York in which he is a primary vocalist, songwriter and drummer, along with Bruce Katz, Jay Collins and Chris Vitarello. Randy Ciarlante has also been a mainstay of the Woodstock NY music scene since 1981 and has played with many of that area's leading musicians over the years.
Don is the current owner of Big Pink, and is an avid guitarist, singer/song-writer and audio engineer. A lover of a well crafted song, he was a leader & lead guitarist with the seminal original late '70s Northeast jam band, the Hooligan Band. As a live audio engineer, he worked and toured extensively with NRBQ and did front of house mixing for Warren Zevon, Bonnie Raitt, Jon Sebastian, David Johansen, David Bromberg and many others.
Don is perhaps the country's leading historian as regards Big Pink - one of the most famous houses in rock n' roll. He looks forward giving a talk and Q&A on the house's storied past... as well as what's happening there currently.