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High on the Hog

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From its first driving percussive beats and fuzzy guitar riffs, High on the Hog soars. More than two years after Jericho, the group's impressive comeback CD, the Band still sounds gorgeously funky and unlike any other -- even with the loss of two key members (Robbie Robertson quit in 1976; Richard Manuel hanged himself in 1986). Now Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson wear the royal mantle, and here they make music with cohesiveness and assurance that come only with maturity.

This Hog has been fattened up with delights. "Stand Up" mesmerizes with its tricky rhythms and rasping vocal harmonies. On "Back to Memphis," Hudson's elegant horns and Jim Weider's eloquent guitar underscore the simple yearning refrain -- "Point my ragged shoes/ To the city of the blues/ In the mornin'." This Band also gets a little help from newer members Randy Ciarlante on drums, vocals and percussion and Richard Bell on piano as well as the late blues brother Champion Jack Dupree, who juices up "Ramble Jungle," a number he cowrote with the group. There are surprises, too, such as a gritty interpretation of En Vogue's 1992 hit "Free Your Mind."

Finally, Manuel's sweet solo "She Knows" offers up a cut of nostalgia.This expressive if despairing lament was recorded live at New York City's Lone Star Cafe less than two months before his death. It is a tribute to his gifts and a reminder that not even a band whose sound remains as robust as this can completely turn back the years.

--Marjorie Rosen, People Magazine

Other reviews:

The Canadian and Japanese releases included the bonus track "Youngblood," also available on the 1995 compilation Till The Night Is Gone - A Tribute To Doc Pomus. A 24-bit remastered High on the Hog was reissued by Fontana's Titan/Pyramid Records in February 2006, featuring both "Youngblood" and a Rick Dank-lead cover of Sam Cookes "Chain Gang" as bonus tracks. The latter was recorded during the High on the Hog sessions and first released on Danko's posthumous Times Like These album.


1. Stand Up [RealAudio] AU file (188K)
2. Back To Memphis [RealAudio]
3. Where I Should Always Be [RealAudio]
4. Free Your Mind [RealAudio] AU file (489K)
5. Forever Young [RealAudio]
6. The High Price of Love [RealAudio] MPEG-2 file (361K)
7. Crazy Mama [RealAudio] AU file (752K)
8. Love You Too Much [RealAudio] AU file (295K)
9. She Knows [RealAudio] AU file (324K)
10. Ramble Jungle [RealAudio] AU file (326K)
11. Youngblood* AU file (299K)
12. Chain Gang** [RealAudio]

*: Bonus track on Japanese release, Canadian release and 2006 remastered CD.
**: Bonus track on 2006 remastered CD.

Song Credits: Stand Up (Channel, Rector), Back To Memphis (Young, Young, Johnson, Kenney, Orr, Martin), Where I Should Always Be (Blondie Chaplin), Free Your Mind (Fister, McElroy), Forever Young (Bob Dylan), The High Price of Love (Levon Helm, Jim Weider, Stan Szelest, Jules Shear), Crazy mama (J.J Cale), Love You Too Much (Dylan, Springs), She Knows (Griffin, Royer), Ramble Jungle (Champion Jack Dupree, Jim Weider), Youngblood (Doc Pomus), Chain Gang (Sam Cooke).


The Band

  • Rick Danko , Guitar (Acoustic) / Bass / Bass (Electric) / Vocals / Harmony Vocals / Acoustic Bass
  • Levon Helm , Bass / Drums / Harp / Vocals / Horn Arrangements
  • Garth Hudson , Trumpet / Accordion / Arranger / Drums / Keyboards / Organ (Hammond) / Sax (Alto) / Sax (Baritone) / Sax (Bass) / Sax (Soprano) / Sax (Tenor) / Producer / Horn Arrangements / Mixing
  • Richard Manuel, Piano / Vocals
  • Richard Bell , Piano / Horn / Keyboards / Horn Arrangements / keyboard bass
  • Randy Ciarlante , Percussion / Drums / Vocals , Piano / Vocals
  • Jim Weider , Guitar (Acoustic) / Guitar / Guitar (Electric)

  • The Band , Producer


  • Champion Jack Dupree , Vocals
  • Tom Malone , Trombone / Trumpet / Sax (Baritone) / Horn Arrangements
  • Howard Johnson , Sax (Baritone)
  • Blondie Chaplin , Guitar (Acoustic) / Guitar / Vocals
  • George Cowan , Engineer
  • Aaron Hurwitz , Producer / Engineer / Digital Editing / Digital Mastering / Horn Arrangements / Mixing
  • Ian Kimmet , Vocals
  • Kenn Lending , Guitar
  • Rob Leon , Bass
  • Colin Linden , Guitar (Acoustic)
  • Bob Ludwig , Mastering
  • Larry Packer , Violin / Viola
  • Scott Petito , Second Engineer
  • Hugh Syme , Art Direction / Design
  • Frank Luther , Bass
  • Ron Finck , Flute / Sax (Tenor)
  • Barry Jackson , Paintings
  • Chris Laidlaw , Engineer / Mixing
  • Paul Marconi , Second Engineer

The Band - High on the Hog - 1996 - Rhino/Pyramid 72404
European CD: Transatlantic TRA CD 228
Japanese CD: Alfa Music ALCB-3115
Canadian CD: Pyramid Records/EMI Music Canada 7243 8 37382 2 9
Remastered CD: Titan-Pyramid - 2006 - 501042

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