After Levon Helm, Rick Danko might be my favourite singer in The Band. While Helm brings a backwoods, southern grittiness to anything he sings, Danko’s voice is more polished, but still ready to unleash on a little rock and roll. He’s also a northerner, originally from Canada, settling on New York, with a northern approach and sound that is a great counterpoint to Helm’s Arkansas roots. So when I knew I was gonna sink my teeth into The Band and some of their various solo and side projects, Danko was one of the solo projects I was most excited about. But I’ll be buggered if I was able to track down a copy of his one and only solo, studio album, 1977’s self titled Rick Danko. So, resorting to Spotify, the best alternative I could find was 1997’s, In Concert.
I like live albums as a gateway to a band or artist. They’re often a good, best of collection to get a quick overview. But I generally don’t like them for writing about a band or artists here. I like that an album is a snapshot of a band or artist at specific time, and also a snapshot of the world at that specific time. But, beggar’s can’t be choosers, so Live in Concert it is, spanning 30 years of Rock Danko’s song writing life. (more…)