Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rick Danko: Rick Danko

Cast adrift by Robbie’s decision to publicly end The Band, bassist and co-lead vocalist Rick Danko immediately got back to work. His eponymous solo album even beat an anticipated farewell extravaganza to the racks. Unfortunately, Rick Danko didn’t make a big enough splash, and remains hard to find today.
Each of the Band appears here and there, as do Ron Wood, Eric Clapton, Doug Sahm and whoever else was wandering through Malibu that year. Horn arrangements abound, as do guitarists subconsciously emulating Robbie. There’s no clunker here, even with the contemporary arrangements that get in the way of “Brainwash” and “Tired Of Waiting”. “Java Blues” is a fairly vehement defense of coffee, the reference to Bolivia notwithstanding. “What A Town” burbles with New Orleans funk and while “Sweet Romance” and “Once Upon A Time” come close, “Sip The Wine” is easily the highlight, particularly for anyone who enjoys the teaser included in a certain film.
Those aren’t quite “classics” along the lines of “Ophelia” or “It Makes No Difference”, but Rick Danko is certainly on par with the better parts of those later albums, and a worthy chapter in the canon of The Band—especially since it would be several years before any of them did anything, much less anything worth hearing. In a just world, it’ll get reissued, and give Rick his due.

Rick Danko Rick Danko (1977)—3

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