New CD/DVD collection The Band: A Musical History has York content

In case the music alone isn’t enough to pique your interest, an ambitious project to restore the entire collection of recordings by The Band, set for release Sept. 27, also has some York content.

Robbie RobertsonThe five-disc/one-DVD anthology, titled The Band: A Musical History, was produced by Robbie Robertson (right), who received an honorary doctorate from York’s Faculty of Education in June (see story in the June 16 issue of YFile), and the extensive biographical liner notes were written by Grammy award winner Rob Bowman, ethnomusicology professor in the Department of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts.

As executive producer for the Capitol Records project, Robertson, The Band’s lead guitarist, gathered as much material from the group’s 13-year career as he could find, including 37 previously unreleased recordings. For the liner notes, Bowman was able to draw on 16 years of research and interviews with musicians who spoke about The Band and its influence on contemporary rock music. Bowman, who teaches in the Department of Music, also writes, performs and is director of York’s Graduate Program in Ethnomusicology & Musicology.

Rob Bowman

Right: Rob Bowman

"A Musical History’s" release concludes a comprehensive restoration campaign for The Band’s entire Capitol Records catalogue. In 2000 and 2001, The Band’s original Capitol albums were remastered and reissued with bonus tracks. A new "Greatest Hits" compilation was also released.

Among the new package’s previously unreleased audio tracks are live and studio recordings The Band created with Bob Dylan and Toronto’s Ronnie Hawkins, as well as various song sketches. The DVD’s nine film clips include rare and previously unreleased concert performances, a filmed studio jam, and three songs The Band performed on "Saturday Night Live" in 1976, never before issued in their entirety.

With album art by iconographic painter Ed Ruscha, The Band: A Musical History features a 108-page hardcover book and 111 audio and video recordings dating back to their formative days with Dylan and Hawkins.