Live on Breeze Hill
First Appeared at The Music Box, November 2001, Volume 8, #11
Written by John Metzger
Live on Breeze Hill was released quietly just prior to Rick Danko’s untimely demise. For all the noise made by his backing band — which featured many of his long time associates, including Garth Hudson, Aaron Hurwitz, Randy Ciarlante, Jim Weider, and the fabulous horn section of Tom "Bones" Malone, Lenny Pickett, and Jim Hynes — this concert recording finds Danko in a rather contemplative mood. On Twilight, one can taste the achingly haunted emptiness that hangs in the air as he sings, "Don’t leave me alone in the twilight/Twilight is the loneliest time of day."
Not surprisingly, Live on Breeze Hill contains no new material — save for a powerful studio reworking of Sip the Wine — and instead leans heavily on the songs of Danko’s career with The Band. With the exception of a throw-away cover of the blues classic Next Time You See Me, all of the material is solidly tackled, and if the band occasionally becomes a little ragged in its delivery, the musicians more than make up for it in the emotion of their performance. Crazy Mama and Ophelia singe the terrain between rock, Dixieland jazz, and Memphis soul, while Caledonia Mission and It Makes No Difference are steeped in that gentle beauty that Danko so readily displayed. That he is gone is truly a shame, but with discs like Live on Breeze Hill, he will never be forgotten. ˝
Live on Breeze Hill is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2001 The Music Box