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Jim Weider

[Jim Weider, 2002]

[Biography] [Albums] [Videos] [Interview with Weider] [The Jim Weider web site] [Jim's Facebook page]


by James Tappenden

Woodstock guitarist Jimmy Weider was The Band's first pick as the replacement for Robbie Robertson, when they reunited and starting touring again in 1983. When the Cate Brothers left the Band in 1985, Weider stayed on and has since then been the Band's only lead guitarist. He is present on the Band albums from the '90s, Jericho, High on the Hog and Jubilation

Weider played with Johnny Paycheck and James Talley as well as Robbie Dupree. He met Levon as a youngster in Woodstock, and met Rick Bell later when both he and Bell were working as session musicians with Axis Studios in Atlanta. After returning to Woodstock he hooked up with Levon again for occasional gigs and formed a country band with Randy Ciarlante, Larry Packer and some others, before joining the reconstituted Band in the 80's. In addition to "Remedy" he has co-written with Colin Linden and Richard Bell a lovely song "Out of the Wilderness" which appears on Linden's Storm Through the Night album. One distinctive feature of his guitar style is the use of both a guitar pick and fingers when playing. In an interview with Classic Guitar magazine, he said this about that playing technique: "[The use of both pick and fingers] opens you up. There's so much more you can do. You can snap the strings against the neck for a certain tone and you can get a sweeter tone out of the strings by using your fingers."

In the same interview with Classic Guitar, he made these remarks in response to a question about the influences on him as a guitarist:

"A big influence on me was Buzz Feiten. He was big in the Woodstock area and I would go to see him play. It was Buzzy, David Sanborn and Neil Larson who all played together. I thought I was doing pretty good as a player and then I saw them and realised that I had to do some practicing! Feiten would play in that "across the neck" pentatonic scale style, with a powerful blues attack and take it outside. Also Jesse Ed Davis's recordings with Taj Mahal. He had a beautifully liquid vibrato, and unique slide playing. Butterfield's harp playing was a huge influence on me - the attack he had was like a freight train coming at you. I liked Robbie Robertson's melodic guitar work and when I heard Roy Buchanan I was completely knocked out. This was back in 1970. I was playing a tele I bought new in Manny's for $135 and I went out in search of a 50's tele to get the tone - and luckily I found one. The combination of the back pick-up and cranking an old Fender amp made the Telecaster scream like I'd never heard before and I was addicted. I know I was lucky to grow up in an area where all these musicians were playing. Right in my home town."



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