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A Tribute to The Last Waltz in Fayetteville

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An all-star group of local musicians will pay tribute to a legendary star-studded night of music this week. Local band The 1 Oz. Jig has organized a tribute to The Band’s famous farewell concert and documentary event, The Last Waltz, on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at George’s Majestic Lounge.

The group, along with some big names in the local music scene, are set to perform songs from the show. In addition to The 1 Oz. Jig, performers set to play that night include Earl Cate of the legendary Cate Brothers band, Randall Shreve, Rochelle Bradshaw, Skye Pollard, Opal Agafia, Michael Schembre, Meredith Kimbrough, Derrek Russell, Eric Withans and Jesse Dean.

Just as in the original, the evening is expected to include lots of collaboration, improvisation, and guest appearances from the musicians on stage as the evening progresses.

For those who aren’t familiar, the original show was held on Thanksgiving Day in November of 1976 at Winterland Ballroom in San Fransisco. The show, conceived as a farewell show for the band after guitarist/songwriter Robbie Robertson was considering giving up life on the road and pianist/songwriter Richard Manuel had been injured in a boating accident, went on to become what is considered to be among the greatest documentary concert films ever made. The group decided to invite artists they’d performed with previously, including (former Fayetteville resident) Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan, along with artists that had influenced their sound over the years. The guest list grew to include artists such as Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Paul Butterfield, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Bobby Charles, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Wood, and Neil Young.


Event poster

The Last Waltz concert was also filmed as a documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese.

In addition to Ronnie Hawkins’ appearance in the film, there are plenty of other Fayetteville connections to The Band. Members of Hawkins’ band, The Hawks, regular performers at his south Fayetteville bar, The Rockwood Club, eventually became The Band. Local legends The Cate Brothers, including Earl Cate, who will perform at the tribute this month, frequently performed with The Band. The Cate Brothers drummer and singer Terry Cagle, who also plays with Earl & Them, is Levon Helm’s nephew. Helm, The Band singer and drummer who was born near Marvell, Arkansas, and grew up in the small community of Turkey Scratch, also famously introduced The Cate Brothers’ music to a record exec which led to them later signing with Asylum Records.

Doors open for the tribute at 7 p.m., and music will begin at around 8 p.m. It’s an 18 and up show.

Tickets are $15, on sale now at George’s ticketing site.

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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