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Rick Danko: Rick Danko

[cover art]

[LP photo insert - front] [LP photo insert - back] [Back cover] [Credits] [Ad from Record World Weekly 2/4/78]

There's a memorable scene in Martin Scorsese's Last Waltz when the director asks The Band's bassist what he's going to do now they're gone. The camera lingers on Rick Danko's sad, stoned reaction. Crouched over a mixing desk he mumbles about trying to make music and keep busy, before pulling his hat down over his eyes and losing himself completely in cinematic shadow. A tape rolls and after a slow picked intro his familiar voice soars. The song in question was "Sip The Wine," just one of several gorgeous ballads on this neglected 1977 release that broke the post-Band silence. If any voice deserved the epithet tortured it's Rick Danko's. It defined The Band's sound on songs like "It Makes No Difference" and "Stage Fright" and here on "Sweet Romance," "Sip The Wine" and "New Mexico" it possesses the same strange and fragile beauty. The opener "What A Town" is reminiscent of fractured Dixieland bops like "Life Is A Carnival" and "Ophelia," but misses Levon Helm's loose feel behind the kit. All the ex-members do appear however: Levon harmonises on "Once Upon A Time" and the late Richard Manuel adds keyboards to "Shake It." With comparisons inevitable, this LP has stood the test of time far better than some of The Band's later output. Rating: 4 (out of 5.)
--Charlie Dick, Q Magazine

Rick Danko was the first of the Band members to release a solo album. Rick Danko was recorded at the Shangri-La studios in California for Clive Davis' new Arista label. Together with a crew of musicians ranging from Rick's brother Terry to Doug Sahm and the other members of the Band, he cut a collection of songs with lyrics by Bobby Charles and Emmet Grogan. The Bobby Charles songs were the most Band-like, Garth Hudson played accordion and Eric Clapton contributed guitar on Charles' laid-back "New Mexicoe". Other guest artists included Ronnie Wood of the Stones and America's Gerry Beckley. The album reached #119 on the Billboard chart.

Re-released on CD in 1991 (Edsel Records), 1997 (One Way Records) and twice in 2000 (Demon Records and Disky Communications, Holland). In 2002 Arista announced a remastered CD with three previously unreleased bonus tracks, "The Weight," Stage Fright," and "This Wheel's on Fire," all recorded live - the project now seems to have been cancelled.


1. What a Town (Danko/Charles) MPEG-file (94K)
2. Brainwash (Danko/Grogan) MPEG-file (94K)
3. New Mexicoe (Danko/Charles) MPEG-file (94K)
4. Tired of Waiting (Danko/Atkinson) MPEG-file (94K)
5. Sip the Wine (Danko) MPEG-file (94K)
6. Java Blues (Danko/Grogan) MPEG-file (94K)
7. Sweet Romance (Danko/Grogan) MPEG-file (94K)
8. Small Town Talk (Danko/Charles) MPEG-file (94K)
9. Shake It (Danko) MPEG-file (94K)
10. Once upon a Time (Danko/Grogan) MPEG-file (94K)


  • Jim Atkinson, guitar
  • Gerry Beckley, vocals/guitar
  • Lewis Bustos, horns
  • Blondie Chaplin, guitar/bass
  • Eric Clapton, guitar
  • Terry Danko, drums
  • Michael DeTemple, guitar
  • Tim Drummond, bass
  • Rob Fraboni, percussion
  • James Gordon, keybards/horns
  • Levon Helm, vocals
  • Garth Hudson, accordion
  • Joe Lala, percussion
  • Ken Lauber, piano
  • Richard Manuel, keyboards
  • Charle McBurney, horns
  • Rocky Morales, horns
  • Wayne Neuendorf, vocals
  • David Paich, keyboards
  • Jim Price, horns
  • Walt Richmond, piano
  • Robbie Robertson, guitar
  • Doug Sahm, guitar
  • Denny Seiwell, drums
  • George Weber, organ
  • Ron Wood, guitar
  • Jeremy Zatkin, engineer

Rick Danko - Rick Danko - 1977 - Arista AB-4141
Single sleeve LP with photo insert.

Compact Discs:

  • Edsel 317 (1991)
  • One Way Records 34497 (1997)
  • Demon EDCD650 (2000)
  • Dutch CD by Disky Communications, 2000, with deluxe cardboard cover and postcard inserts (the postcards are not Band- or Danko-related, but album covers of Deep Purple and Jethro Tull albums)
  • A remastered CD with three live bonus tracks was planned by Arista Records (Arista 10608), but the August 2002 release was cancelled.

AMG Rating: Good

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