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The Sea to the North

Garth Hudson

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Album Review

It wasn't too hard to guess that Garth Hudson's long-awaited solo album would be a tour de force; his virtuoso instrumental talents stood out even in that legendary group of musicians known as the Band. What may surprise listeners, however, is the sheer scope of sound on this effort, with Hudson playing an intimidating range of keyboards (including pipe organ), various saxophones, accordion, melodica, and Tarogato. Each track is a sonic adventure, the hapless listener unsure of what lies around the next bend. Several centuries of music and continents seem embedded in the elegiac title track ("composition" is a better word for music of this scope), while "The Saga of Cyrus and Mulgrew" is boldly futuristic. Later years found the erstwhile members of the Band occasionally digging into the Grateful Dead's catalog, and Hudson is no exception, doing a free jazzy take on "Dark Star" on which he even offers some spoken vocals. Members of that sterling Woodstock, NY, band the Crowmatix show up here, with prominent appearances by group leader Professor "Louie" (aka Aaron Hurwitz), who co-produces. Hudson's old bandmate Levon Helm shows up as well. This is startlingly spontaneous music with a brain (a very big brain), and it's not for the faint of heart or the average pop fan. And that's a great thing.

Customer Reviews

Very, very nice music

This is a very nice piece of interesting music, not at all like The Band in any way. Hudson's musicianship shines through. This is not something that you may like on the first hearing, but it grows on you -- expect to be challenged.

Garth and Gorgonzola

Garth Hudson is often overshadowed by his "Band" mates, but devout listeners are keen to his undeniable musical gifts. I liken this listening experience to work from Coltrane; although the genres differ, both artists are able to weed out those of us with short attention spans and reward the remainder with a rich sonic experience. If modern popular music is beef jerky, this album is an expertly crusted slice of dry-aged porterhouse smeared with a creamy daub of gorgonzola. I found myself, for a week or so, listening to the first sixty seconds of "Dark Star" as if I was deciphering some lost Sumerian tablet.

Brilliant

Since Robbie Robertson got most of the writing credits, it is easy to think that that his was the genius that made the Band unique. This album will show otherwise. Former Band keyboardist Hudson is a magical musician who takes us on a beautiful, brilliant and yes, at times very strange musical journey in this wonderful masterwork. Jazz, classical and Americana merge in a truly one of a kind delight.

Biography

Born: August 2, 1937 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Garth Hudson (born Eric Hudson) in London, Ontario, on August 2, 1937, was the greatest virtuoso talent in that stellar cast of musicians known as the Band. The full-bearded, genial artist may also be the most fascinating personality to emerge from that legendary group (certainly the most inscrutable). Hudson's Lowrey organ, from which he could coax a variety of sounds, from gospel to classical, was a centerpiece of the Band's sound. He also played an arsenal of other instruments — examples...
Full Bio
The Sea to the North, Garth Hudson
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, New Age
  • Released: Sep 18, 2001

Customer Ratings

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