Robbie Robertson, the lead guitarist and main songwriter of The Band, will be publishing a memoir titled Testimony on November 15, and has now announced plans to release a career-spanning audio companion to the book November 11. The 18-track album features live and studio recordings by the lauded musician’s influential roots-rock group, select solo tunes, songs by his pre-Band outfits Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks and Levon & The Hawks, and Bob Dylan tunes on which he played.
Among the well-known Band songs that appear on Testimony are live renditions of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Life Is a Carnival,” “The Weight” and “The Shape I’m In.” The album also includes Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” and “Obviously 5 Believers,” which both were featured on the folk-rock legend’s classic 1966 album, Blonde on Blonde. In addition, the compilation features Robertson’s solo gem “Somewhere Down the Crazy River,” from his self-titled 1987 debut, as well as a brand-new mix of another tune from that album, “Testimony.” The latter song features contributions from U2, Ivan Neville, Daniel Lanois, Chic‘s Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, and jazz great Gil Evans.
As previously reported, in the Testimony book, Robertson will recount his life story and his adventures with his musical comrades in The Band, from their days playing bars with rockabilly singer Hawkins through to their famed 1976 farewell concert, The Last Waltz. The memoir will include Robbie’s recollections of his and his band mates tenure as Dylan’s backing group and their development into a formidable original musical outfit in their own right.
The Testimony album will be released on the same day as the just-announced deluxe audio and video packages celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Last Waltz.
Here is the Testimony track list:
“Testimony (Unity Mix)” — Robbie Robertson
“Bessie Smith” — The Band
“Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” — Bob Dylan
“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” (Live at The Academy of Music, 1971) — The Band
“He Don’t Love You (And He’ll Break Your Heart)” — Levon & The Hawks
“Somewhere Down the Crazy River” — Robbie Robertson
“Life Is a Carnival” (Live at The Academy of Music, 1971) — The Band
“It Makes No Difference” — The Band
“The Weight” (Live at The Academy of Music, 1971) — The Band
“Out of the Blue” — The Band
“I’m Gonna Play the Honky Tonks” — Levon & The Hawks
“Obviously 5 Believers” — Bob Dylan
“Soap Box Preacher” — Robbie Robertson
“Twilight (Song Sketch)” — The Band
“Come Love” — Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks
“When the Night Was Young” — Robbie Robertson
“The Shape I’m In” (Live at The Academy of Music, 1971) — The Band
“Unbound” — Robbie Robertson
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Source: Classic Rock News