The music concocted half a century ago by the musicians who would ultimately be known as the Band was the result of some rather unusual methodology.
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That’s the music the ad hock Wild Honey Orchestra celebrated Saturday with a cross-generational phalanx of musicians who served up the Band’s extraordinary first two albums: “Music From Big Pink” and “The Band” at a fundraiser for the New Jersey-based Autism Think Tank.
The evening featured a raft of spotlighted soloists who appeared to revel in the chance to take on legacy numbers by the Band such as “Up on Cripple Creek,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “The Weight” and “I Shall Be Released.”
Jackson Browne, Carlene Carter, Peter Case, Victoria Williams, Van Dyke Parks, Syd Straw, Susan Cowsill, Louise Goffin, Peter Holsapple, Skylar Gudasz, Julianna Raye, Steve Wynn and Steve Barton were among the featured artists on a night that, in many ways, belonged to a surviving member of the group being honored: keyboard wizard Garth Hudson, who joined the proceedings late in the evening along with his wife, singer Sister Maud Hudson.
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Among other highlights: Carter’s plaintive performance of the spiritual allegory “The Unfaithful Servant,” British session singer and guitarist Terry Reid’s explosive delivery of “King Harvest (Has Surely Come),” Cowsill and Bangles member Vicki Peterson’s luminous rendition of “Whispering Pines,” and despite one of the evening’s few false starts, Browne’s reading of the supernaturally minded “Caledonia Mission.”
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