Band of the Week: The The Band Band


Gary Solomon (bass, fiddle, vocals), Jack Kraft (keyboards, accordion, guitar, vocals), Vinny Nicosia (drums, guitar, vocals), Josh Radin (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Loren Korevec (piano, vocals)


The brainchild of lifelong friends and Band fans Kraft and Solomon, the group came together in 2007 in Stony Point, New York. "We've been playing music together for close to 40 years," Solomon says. "When we were hanging out, we would noodle around on some band songs just for fun. He wanted to work the tunes out. I didn't know what a tribute band was. We were just doing it for ourselves. We didn't intend to get any gigs. We just played a party." After months of practice, they made their public debut the following summer. "It grew organically," Solomon says, adding that an agency picked them up and started booking them. Now, the group regularly plays theaters, clubs and festivals throughout the Northeast and has shared the stage with acts such as Richie Havens, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Aztec Two Step and Marshall Crenshaw. "We never predicted it would take off the way it has," says Solomon. "The music is just so great. The original incarnation of the Band stopped touring in 1976. People really love this music and we present it really well."


The band's farewell concert, The Last Waltz, was a momentous event that director Martin Scorcese captured on film. Both the album and movie are the stuff of rock legend. "I was at that concert. I happened to be in SF. Just a stroke of luck that I heard about it. If you've been to that show, you're in for life. After we added the horns a few years back. The Last Waltz is so iconic. Younger people haven't seen them and their main introduction to the group is the movie. We decided to do a tribute show. We didn't want to mimic the movie but present a show that includes some songs from The Last Waltz. Next year will be the 40th anniversary, so we're working on a special show for that.


Complete with horns and husky vocals, the group's cover of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" captures the rootsy rock vibe of the original and their rendition of "The Weight" is every bit as epic as the original version. The band takes its repertoire largely from The Band's seminal period and mixes well-known hits with obscure gems. They have performed "album shows" (Music From Big Pink, The Band, Stage Fright, Basement Tapes), recreations of historic concerts (The Last Waltz, Woodstock, Watkins Glen Music Festival), and a special tribute to the songs of Bob Dylan. "We started sneaking some Dylan songs into the show, and not just the ones that the Band used to do. We play 'New Morning' and 'I Want You' and 'Just Like a Woman.' The audience really loves it. We even do a show of Basement Tapes material, which is a little bit obscure."



The the Band Band performs at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Music Box Supper Club.

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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