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.