Song of the Day: The greatest American band from Canada
The Band is the closest rock music has ever come to embodying the ethos and beauty of the Beatitudes. Theirs is music for the tired, the weary, the salt that inherits the Earth. It is tired, weary music -- but there's always a ray of hope shimmering at the end of languid riffs and homespun lyrical phrases at times so impossibly simple it hurts.
Robbie Robertson even found the kernel of humanity in the characters of this song -- about a Confederate family starving after a Union army tore up a bunch of train tracks. Robertson was a master narrator, and his band actually was the band that defined the Americana sound of the '60s and '70s.
(Note: Joan Baez does a smashing cover of this song on Blessed Are..., perhaps her best studio album.)