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Live Anthology

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Album Review

Perhaps the least heralded of the three great vernacular singers who made up the front line of the Band, Rick Danko may well have been the glue and the heart of the whole enterprise. If Levon Helm's Arkansas drawl brought a kind of historical authenticity to the character studies he sang, and gave the Band the closest thing to a frontman, while Richard Manuel's gospel-tinged vocals, sung like a ragged angel desperately down on his luck, gave the Band its soul, then Danko's beautifully unsteady voice gave the Band its unabashed honesty, and particularly on his signature tune, "Makes No Difference," its very heart. Danko always seemed bare, open, and naked when he sang this song in the Band's standard live set, and his solo career, in a way, mirrored it, with Danko sounding like an increasingly frayed nerve. This collection of live Danko performances has been drawn from eight complete live shows originally released by Floating World Records. Danko works his limited palette well, and while nothing here replaces the original versions by the Band, neither does anything here diminish that legacy. Danko's death in 1999 makes this a particularly valuable document of one of the most unique and unsung voices in rock.


Born: 29 December 1942 in Simcoe, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Rick Danko was -- and will forever be known as -- one of the three singing members of the Band, as well as their bassist. Their principal lead singer on the first album, he was second of the members to join the group back in its days backing Ronnie Hawkins, and the second of its members to pass away. He was born Richard Clare Danko on December 29, 1942, in Greens Corner, Ontario, Canada, near the town of Simcoe. The latter is in a part of Ontario populated by a large number of families descended...
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Live Anthology, Rick Danko
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