Saturday, November 06, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Robbie Robertson
Song:Somwhere Down The Crazy River
For all the great songs Robbie Robertson wrote with The Band, one would have thought that he was a lock to have a long successful solo career. It hasn't really happened. His 1987 self titled solo debut and the single Somewhere Down The Crazy River are the most memorable and he last recorded in 1998. He still works behind the scenes. What happened? Part of the problem is he's not a great singer. Levon Helm is a great singer. And Robertson has admitted that maybe he didn't have much to say as a solo artist. He was born Jaime Robert Klegerman July 5, 1943 in Toronto. And as most fans should know, he started out as part of Ronnie Hawkins' backup band The Hawks which eventually became The Band. After The Band split up in 1976, Robertson turned to film. He starred, co-wrote and directed the 1980 film Carny which also starred Jodie Foster and Gary Busey. He also continued his relationship with director Martin Scorsese and produced the music for the 1983 film King Of Comedy. Scorsese directed the documentary about The Band The Last Waltz. Robertson signed with Geffen Records in 1987 and released his debut CD. The album was produced by Daniel Lanois who made his name working with U2. The album did OK but not great. It was a hit in Canada. Somewhere Down The Lazy River reached #15 on the UK Singles chart. The singer featured on the song is Sammy Llanas of The BoDeans. The album is available as a budget release. Robertson's solo recordings seem to examine his Native Canadian heritage but his music didn't catch on. After two albums for Geffen and two for Capitol, Robertson quit recording in 1998. In 2000, he joined DreamWorks Records as A & R Director and signed Nelly Furtado. That label closed in 2005. And he continues to produce music for Martin Scorsese films including his most recent Shutter Island. I expect Robbie Robertson to continue his behind the scenes work but I don't expect any new solo albums. Here's the video for Somewhere Down The Crazy River by Robbie Robertson featuring Sammy Llanas.