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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"The Weight"

The Band - The Weight (1968)

"...it's just ol' Luke and Luke's waitin' on The Judgement Day..."



I am so biased in favor of this one folks. This song has been playing on stereos in my house for as long as I can remember. It was on a mix tape that we always played when we were on the road as well. I think it was a live version though, I remember slight differences. I also remember asking and asking my Dad, 'what does it mean?' 'Is it real?' 'Why does everyone tell him no?' The lyrics follow a traveler as he drives into Nazareth PA, looking for a bed. He runs into a number of interesting characters.
Musically we've got acoustic guitar giving the song it's distinct folk song feel. The bass is not very pronounced, and is doubled on piano for the most part. The drums are laid back, almost behind the beat. It makes us feel like a 'weight' is sitting on us, slowing us down. Then you've got a Honky Tonk tuned piano playing almost grandiose licks. Good stuff man. I haven't even mentioned the harmony that The Band employs during the whole song. Two men trade verses, and you get three part harmony during the best parts.

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