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OnceWereBrothers: RobbieRobertson and The Band is a confessional, cautionary, and occasionally humorous tale of RobbieRobertson's young life and the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music, The Band. The film is a moving story of Robertson's personal journey, overcoming adversity and finding camaraderie alongside the four other men who would become hi brothers in music and who together made their mark on music history. OnceWereBrothers blends rare archival footage, photography iconic songs and interviews with many of Robertson's friends and collaborators including Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison Martin Scorsese, Peter Gabriel, Taj Mahal, Dominique Robertson, Ronnie Hawkins, and more. In a career spanning six decades, RobbieRobertson has continued to create as a songwriter, producer, performer, actor, author and film composer. A half-Mohawk, half-Jewish kid from Toronto, Robertson would travel from the dives of Yonge Street to ...
Americana as it was--seminal music influencing even today.
"I pulled into Nazareth, I was feelin' 'bout half-past dead." The Band's The Weight featuring Levon Helm
With that song, the world of mid-century America became aware of a new sound, Americana: a country rock with soul and surpassingly genial musicians. Daniel Roher's OnceWereBrothers: RobbieRobertson and the Band is a memorable documentary as well as a most engaging history of the colorful era of '60's and '70's rock, where loud, sensual music eclipsed any other form in previous cultural changes.
With the producing guidance of Martin Scorsese, who helmed The Last Waltz about the Band's final concert, RobbieRobertson, guitarist and songwriter, guides us through his teen years and hookup with musicians who themselves would hook up with Bob Dylan, to help him tour to the boos of audiences that just didn't get the electric guitar: Dylan exclaims, "They were gallant knights for standing behind me."
Deftly carrying us through photo album pics and original music, this remarkable doc makes it feel like we are there, reliving the charismatic troupe's glory days and eventually its struggle with drugs. As Robbie says, "It was so beautiful, it went up in flames."
However, it's a story well told, even down to the homely shots of Robbie courting Dominique and their eventually blissful marriage.
Heroin emerges (as it frequently seems to do) with devastating effect on the gifted Levon. Through it all, Robbie lets us know how much he loved this brotherhood, and we see the contribution he continues to make to the welfare of music and people.
We have been blessed in the last few years with outstanding films about music-let OncewereBrothers be at the top of the list: It was
"a sound you've never heard before, but like they've always been here." Bruce Springsteen
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