I realize that most people don’t think of The Band when the cocktail hour rolls up. I’m not most people. My crack “research team” tells me that The Weight is a well-loved and oft recorded song. That’s good enough for me.
Robbie Robertson wrote The Weight in 1968 for The Band’s debut album Music From Big Pink. I’m on the record as not liking Big Pink as much as most fans but it’s still a pretty darn good record. I just prefer the songs live.
We begin with a double dose of Richard, Robbie, Levon, Garth, and Rick:
The Staple Singers were among the first to record this week’s tune:
Aretha Franklin’s version is the best known of the covers. It was a hit in 1969 and features Duane Allman on slide guitar.
Next up, my New Orleans homey, the Marvelous Marva Wright:
Joan Osborne. Say no more.
Rickie Lee Jones cut a typically idiosyncratic version of the Robertson classic in 2012.
Take a load off with Little Feat and the great Bela Fleck; one of the best names in music history.
What’s the Friday Cocktail Hour without instrumental versions of the week’s tune? This time, The Ventures followed by King Curtis.
That’s it for this week. Let’s drink to a quiet hurricane season. It’s what The Band would want. Never argue with them.