The Weight Band, an assemblage of veteran musicians with connections to Woodstock, Levon Helm, and The Band, have announced the release date of their debut recording, World Gone Mad.
Throughout the storied history of the Midnight Ramble performances at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York, there have been multiple configurations of some of the same musicians for different host bands at “the barn.” The Levon Helm Band had morphed into the Midnight Ramble Band, followed by the Dirt Farmer Band, and most recently The Weight Band. Each of these ensembles has relied on a strong belief in the collaboration of all band members. The entire bands were the focus, rather than any individual being featured above the others. That spirit of collaboration is evident in the writing and recording of The Weight Band’s first full-length album, World Gone Mad, scheduled for CD and digital release on February 23.
Inclusion of two previously unreleased songs co-written by Levon Helm, “You’re Never Too Old (To Rock N Roll)” and “Common Man,” along with guest appearances by Jackie Greene and Randy Ciarlante, and a cover of the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter song, “Deal” give some added flavors to the half dozen original songs by The Weight Band.
Central New York music fans may recall a previous incarnation of the The Weight Band, with Byron Isaacs on bass and Ciarlante on drums from their appearance at The Camden Music Festival in 2014. Eventually, Albert Rogers and Michael Bram found their way into those respective slots, joining Jim Weider (guitar), Brian Mitchell (keys/accordion), and Marty Grebbs (keys/saxophone). All five members of the band contribute vocals to their sound.
The title song was a phrase Jim Weider has said he had kicking around in his head for about a year, until a bit of a melody came along to join it, and he collaborated with the renowned Canadian singer-songwriter Colin Linden to complete the tune. Weider and Linden had previously joined forces on several songs. These include “Remedy,” a version of which is included on World Gone Mad.
The Weight Band will tour in support of their pending release, including four New York State appearances.
Feb. 9 – Bergen Performing Arts Center – Englewood NJ
Feb. 10 – The Warehouse at FTC – Fairfield CT
Feb. 16 – Infinity Music Hall – Hartford CT *Album pre-release concert
Feb. 17 – Levon Helm Studios – Woodstock NY *CD release ramble
March 9 – Sportsmen’s Tavern – Buffalo, NY
March 10 – Anthology – Rochester, NY
March 11 – Center for the Arts of Homer – Homer, NY
March 30 – Beacon Theatre – Hopewell, VA
March 31 – McGlohen Theater at Spirit Square – Charlotte, NC
April 1 – City Winery – Atlanta, GA
April 4 – Crest Theatre – Delray Beach, FL
April 5 – King Center for the Performing Arts – Melbourne, FL
April 6 – Capitol Theatre – Clearwater, FL
April 7 – Center for Performing Arts – Bonita Springs, FL
April 19 – Narrows Center – Fall River, MA
April 27 – Fox Tucson Theatre – Tucson, AZ
April 29 – Belly Up Tavern – Solana Beach, CA
June 24 – Rocks, Ribs & Ridges Festival – Augusta, NJ
Aug. 20 – Camp Cripple Creek at Full Moon Resort – Big Indian, NY