Label: Capitol Records - STAO-132 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album RL • Country: US • Genre: Rock • Style: Folk Rock, Rock & Roll
I've finished them off, but have been greatly informed by the debate between Pat Brennan and Ragtime Willie, which has caused me to amend a few ideas and to add a quote from Pat at the very last minute. Robbie's solo is on acoustic guitar but electric guitar on Rock of Ages Richard is on piano. The mix is simple, piano all on one side, guitar all on the other, pulling the song into opposing sides.
Robbie's trilling final guitar part became one of his trademarks in later years. Rick Danko gets fewer lead vocals on the album than Richard or Levon, but his voice is an essential part of all the songs. John Simon Rick is actually a very studied singer. He expresses it in a very unique way, but he really is concious of working with a microphone in an Appalachian tradition.
I mean, he hears those old singers and knows how they do it. We recorded it, and then I did it thirty more times. John Simon And on Unfaithful Servant you could really hear the horns. Rob Bowman Musicians might note the unusual chord progression; Robbie had discovered a new guitar tuning. These chords are the result. Robbie takes rare mini solos, acoustic on Unfaithful Servant electric on King Harvest. Both are marked by economy and understatement. Barney Hoskyns on the Rock of Ages version Robbie played with an unerring touch all night, crowning his performance with a guitar solo on Unfaithful Servant that must count among the ten greatest ever recorded.
Never has the brittle, needling quality of the Fender telecaster sound been Los De La Salsa - Rap Desperados to such devastating effect, or harmonics deployed to send such shivers down the spine.
Cat On a Hot Tin Roof and Robbie talks about his passion for the movies predating his passion for books at the age of 19 Robbie mentions Faulkner, Steinbeck and Hemingway as his reading matter in one interview and Tennessee Williams in another. Williams and Faulkner are 20th century manifestations that fit just as well.
Melodically it harks back to Tears of Rage with a similar sense of nameless guilt in the lyrics. They sweep mournfully in then disappear. Someone joked that Robertson probably wrote it as a disguised, curmodgeonly diatribe for their roadies Levon describes some epic battles with various crew members. As in The Weightthere is a Mistress with a capital M, against whom some offence or sin has been committed.
The voice that tells the tale is a third The Unfaithful Servant - The Band - The Band at the beginning, but then seemingly shifts to a first person account So long to a lady I have known then back to third person. Everybody is now interested in being the same, so I was kinda playing a game in writing this song. The song is brilliant at generating assumptions. Try answering them without pondering too hard.
Let your picture of the Chimps - Various - Dont Play (Groove #101/N°10) bring out your answers, but do it quickly: Where does it take place? When does it take place? Is the servant male or female? Is there a sexual element in the relationship? If so, is the servant screwing or being screwed?
Is the narrator a separate entity to the servant? I would think most people could give off the cuff answers. Large house. Mansion with white portico, somewhere in the south.
Not recently. Train whistles are blowing. So post Civil War probably. Yes Screwing the lady yes The servant had a relationship and told tales, bringing shame. Then look at the lyrics or give it a listen. This is what I come up with. Absolutely no textual or musical evidence for the south.
Try seeing a wooden Gothic mansion in rural New England. Or an isolated farmhouse in the west, with the hired The Unfaithful Servant - The Band - The Band being sent packing.
It still works just as well. I think people tend to see it as the south because it leads so beautifully into King Harvest. It could also be that the blowsiness of the horns conjure up a steamy Southern atmosphere. A writer using a modern setting might choose a Greyhound bus in preference to a train. Trains will take Hot Rails - Richie Kotzen - Electric Joy back as far as the Civil War.
This rules out either a The Unfaithful Servant - The Band - The Bandor an indentured servant. Zero evidence for a male servant either. Say the servant was a ladies maid, and that the shame was an affair with the narrator?
What she did to the lady was betray her trust. And it makes no difference if we fade away. They are both unfaithful servants, they are one and the same. The narrator is also involved with the lady; he is a lover, husband or son which means that he and the servant are retreating together, and in spite of the regrets he sings I can see it in your smilewhich would be a knowing, conspiratorial smile.
Pat Brennan A Robbie Robertson songbook published with a ton of his input claims the song is written in the voice of a "master bidding goodbye to the servant with whom he's had an affair' So this makes The Unfaithful Servant - The Band - The Band narrator the master, and the servant someone who has offended the mistress, by having an affair with the master.
Even if you persist with a male servant, he may or may not have been screwing the lady. A lady I have known could be known as in the bible. Or it could simply mean that the lady was not a remote figure, but a friend who shared her home.
The lady is in the position of power over a male servant Come here, young man. A female servant would have had a relationship with the narrator. In both cases there is a figure who holds power, and one who is exploited. Already answered above. It could of course be both.
Or either. You can argue this one. Danko sings the whole thing. Or if the narrator and the servant are in a sexual relationship, they are joined both physically and in their intent.
Or boasting about it? Screwing the lady and telling all and sundry? The servant was in a trusted position. The servant lived in the house and held keys or even the main keys. They shared a home. A home, not a house. The sin and the shame would The Unfaithful Servant - The Band - The Band the result of airing whatever was going on to public view. This is clear in the line or did you do it just for the glory?
The glory was boasting about it, telling all. Garth demonstrates his sax solo. After that it gets rare. Maybe they did Evening Rush - Jack Bosco - Hunters And Horses definitive version. Unfortunately, The Band have never opted for this. They played it as The Band in 7th June in Buffalo at leastand there are two versions by Danko with Paul Butterfield again at leastin Radio Song - R.E.M.
- Unplugged in December and again in April with Butterfield and Manuel.
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