OK listen, I wouldn’t normally go all-out for a tribute show, but this one seems deserving of special mention to me. The Last Waltz was a concert film made by Martin Scorcese, documented the star-studded farewell concert by The Band in 1976. The original film featured not only a full set of The Band’s excellent moody, country-infused folk-rock but a host of guest appearances by everyone from Neil Young to the Staples Singers. Now, some local Richmond musicians are recreating the entire film as a long concert featuring all sorts of Richmond notables in a variety of roles. They’ll be kicking off the last weekend before Thanksgiving with this celebratory tribute event, live onstage at The Camel, and it’s sure to be an amazing time.
All it takes is one look at the lineup of musicians taking part in all of this to recognize its brilliance. It all starts with the quintet who’ll be playing the roles of The Band themselves, which features members of The Congress, Angelica Garcia‘s backing band, solo singer-songwriter Sid Kingsley, and more. Then there are the many guests making up a veritable who’s who of the Richmond soul, jazz, funk, jam, folk, and rock scenes–Kelli Strawbridge, Prabir Mehta, Kenneka Cook, Landon Elliott, Corey Axt, Brent McCormick, and quite a few more will pay tribute to the various guests who join The Band throughout the evening. Though I will say that I hope whoever portrays Neil Young (Prabir?) doesn’t go so far as to recreate the huge chunk of cocaine hanging out of Neil’s nose, which had to be rotoscoped out of the original film. Oops!
It’s the second half of November, y’all. Christmas music is already playing in the stores, Santa’s at the mall charging parents exhorbitant amounts for pictures with their terrified toddlers, turkey consultants are giving seminars on how to make Thanksgiving meals at Bed Bath and Beyond–it’s the holiday season, is what I’m saying. Around the musical world, this time of year offers us all a chance to have some fun and maybe not do everything with the same sort of seriousness and do-or-die intensity we bring to the stage most of the year. Seeing a bunch of incredibly talented local players loosen up and jamming on some old The Band tunes over at The Camel is a far less stressful way to celebrate this time of year than most of the other things we’ll be doing. So hey, why not? It’ll be a blast!