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Elliott Landy: The Band Photographs 1968-1969

Evocative photo-diary of the Americana pioneers’ first two albums.

The Band Photographs 1968-1969 book cover

Back in 1968, young snapper Elliott Landy took some shots of The Band (then Bob Dylan’s band) in New York, ignoring the ‘No Photographs’ warning. It led to a short but fruitful pairing, now captured in this lush coffee table book.

Documenting the making of the group’s first two albums Music From Big Pink and The Band – with written insights from Landy, tour manager Jonathan Taplin and producer John Simon – it’s amazing how familiar these gorgeous photos seem today.

Yes, they’re harking back to a fundamentally different time, but the things that made them a bit weird and backward in the 60s (hillbilly facial hair, rootsy music, checked shirts…) have become defining staples of every faintly countrified artist in music today – from Blackberry Smoke to bloody Mumford & Sons. Rural, pastoral scenes evoke their “reverence” for the roots of American music (“the bluegrass of Appalachia, the blues of the Mississippi delta…”) – and strongly reminded us of certain Rival Sons shots.

An expressive, natural memoir of one of the most (quietly) influential groups in Americana.

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.