Roots Music

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Lonesome Suzie” from Music from Big Pink (1968)

A searcher’s tale about trying to find love, and then finally settling with what you’ve got, “Lonesome Suzie” is Richard Manuel’s fourth and final author credit on the Band’s Music from Big Pink.

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Chest Fever” from Music from Big Pink (1968)

It starts out as Bach, and then it becomes something entirely guttural, midnight funky, so completely dangerous. And that’s all before anybody but Garth Hudson does a thing on “Chest Fever.”

Guy Clark – My Favorite Picture of You (2013)

Guy Clark, just past his 70th year, still has the ability to whittle down life into these visceral moments — each of them picturesque, so memorable and deeply resonant.

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Long Black Veil” from Music from Big Pink (1968)

Stumbled upon during the sessions for Music from Big Pink, Lefty Frizzell’s “Long Black Veil” featured a darkly gothic storyline that meshed so well you’d never know it was a cover song.

Allen Toussaint – Songbook (2013)

Allen Toussaint – Songbook (2013)

Allen Toussaint’s languid, reverie-filled piano introduction to “Southern Nights,” a No. 1 hit he gave to Glen Campbell, is worth the price of admission to his new live set Songbook all by itself.

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “We Can Talk” from Music from Big Pink (1968)

A key line from this Richard Manuel song, “one voice for all,” says everything about the way the Band constructed Music from Big Pink, and what made them so utterly unique in their own time.

One Track Mind: Darden Smith, “Seven Wonders” from Love Calling (2013)

Darden Smith returns with a quietly introspective love song — one that offers as many ruminative questions about the mysteries of passion as it does celebrations of how these things somehow work out anyway.

On Second Thought: The Byrds – Dr. Byrds and Mr. Hyde (1969)

So many changes had occurred in the Byrds camp since they formed in 1964 and then wowed the pop world a year later by spearheading a new stripe of music coined folk rock

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “The Weight” from Music from Big Pink (1968)

A cinematic, fever dream of a song, “The Weight” remains both an enigma and an emblem for its singer Levon Helm and the Band. Just what this track’s burden is? Well, that’s brilliantly unspoken

Almost Hits: Neil Young, “Old Man” (1972)

Almost Hits: Neil Young, “Old Man” (1972)

It seems that no matter where you go, if you have a handful of musicians in the crowd, you can always strike up a conversation about Neil Young. Heck, you don’t even need musicians