, the tenth studio album by the Band
, showcases a group that has aged better than the finest port wine. Yes, although the voices have aged noticeably (particularly in the cases of Rick Danko
and Levon Helm
), this fact only makes the record more charming. The songwriting is still spiritual and evocative, and all of the tunes are peppered with a Grant Wood
-ish plain-spoken sensibility that are at once familiar and instantly engaging.
The group (Danko
, and resident keyboard genius Garth Hudson
) are augmented by Richard Bell
(keyboards), Randy Ciarlante
(drums, vocals), and Jim Weider
(guitar). The odd thing is that this version of the group has probably been together as long as the original Band
. Guest appearances by Eric Clapton
and John Hiatt
are nice additions, but are not reasons to buy this album, as it holds up quite well on its own merits.