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Rick Danko

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by CrazyChester, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. CrazyChester


    Feb 22, 2008
    I'm not a bass player, but was wondering how Rick Danko is perceived by other bass players. It seems that his legend continues to grow. Check out this site on Rick: www.sipthewine.blogspot.com.

    I'm curious: how does he compare to other bass players in similar genres? Thanks.
  2. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    He's a very meat and potatoes player, but IMHO he is very underappreciated. He knows what to play and when, and doesn't do anything else, all the while belting out those hits.

    Very odd feel, but it serves The Band's music very well. Rick Danko is one of my faves.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Great bassist IMO. Watch "The Last Waltz" and you'll see what I mean. He hasn't been doing much for the past 10 years or so.

  4. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Thats because he's dead.:meh:
  5. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I loved his playing! If you do a search, you will find a genuine love of his playing from other bassist, especially bassist that where around back in the Bands heyday.
  6. Very tasteful bass playing and in my opinion one of the greatest voices ever.
  7. bassist15


    Mar 6, 2006
    One of my biggest influences!! I really started listening to The Band two years ago and he has had a profound effect on me. Him and Levon make an awesome rhythm section. I love the Rock of Ages live album ...the first song starts off with just Rick and Levon and they get the groove going. He had an amazing tone on those albums and he has always been up there on my list.
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    He's a musician, right? I guess you could say he's de-composing!

    Old joke but if the opportunity arises...

  9. mgriffith


    Aug 8, 2008
    I never appreciated him "growing up" when a bass player had to let his fingers race up and down the fretboard to make an impact on me.

    Now that I am older, balder, and I hope wise, I appreciate bassists for a whole heck of a lot more than their speed.

    Rick Danko is up there with the K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple, Stanley) or better, K.I.T.S. (Keep it Tasteful, Stanley) school of playing.

    He sets down the solid end the song needs and never strays from it. He is the foundation of the song, and he knows it.

    His sound fit his music well, too.

    He had an instructional video out a while back that may still be available, too.

    And I like to spot players who use basses like mine. He used a Gibson Grabber (in a beautiful sunburst) and I use an Epiphone Ripper. :bassist:
  10. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    He also used a Fender Jazz a lot. I think it was a 64 IIRC as well as a Fender Bass VI and an Ampeg Fretless.
  11. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Chalk me up as a Danko fan as well. I didn't appreciate The Band until a couple years ago (despite being a longtime Dylan fan), but they've sucked me in. As was mentioned already, Danko's playing had kind of a quirky, off-kilter feel at times, but it fit like a glove with Helm's drumming. Tasty stuff.

    A bit OT, but Jason Isbell, in his days with the Drive-By Truckers, wrote a really heavy, sad song called Danko/Manuel. I really like it.
  12. CrazyChester


    Feb 22, 2008
    That's pretty tasteless; no offense.:meh:
  13. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    About 5 years ago, there was a female lawyer working in the same building that I worked in. She drove a little convertible with personalized license plates that read, "DANKO".

    I spotted her in the hall one day and asked her, "By any chance, do your license plates have something to do with Rick Danko?" She got all excited and said, "Yes! I can't believe it! You're the only person I've ever met that even knows who he is!" I just smiled and said, "Well, that's because I'm a bass player too."

    He was a very solid, probably under-appreciated bassist. I liked watching him play (but not enough to get car tags with his name on them!) ;)
  14. Kyon`


    Aug 17, 2007
    Boston, MA
    I thought his playing was always very wonderful and bouncy. The kind of stuff you just want to move your hips to, that and I thought he had a great singing voice. Could move mountains!
  15. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Banned

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    Monstrously under appreciated genius of the instrument. A sense of time and melody that is damn near impossible to duplicate, and the voice and harmonic sense of an angel. I miss him every day.

    The "instructional" videos aren't great lessons, per se, but they are a treasure trove of insight into exactly how he builds/plays those beautifully quirky basslines.

    Effortless on a half dozen instruments, if you aren't listening to Rick Danko, you are missing a key component of American roots music.
  16. Sneckumhaw


    Apr 26, 2006
    For vocals I gotta give it up to Richard Manuel, but all three of their lead singers were very cool. Three fantastic lead singers in a band; that kind of thing doesn't happen too often (Beatles, Byrds, Moby Grape, Beach Boys, Badfinger, The Band and VERY few others) and it should be cherished when it does.

    Danko is the man BTW, but it's a little disappointing that he redid just about all his Last Waltz bass performances in the studio.
  17. Sneckumhaw


    Apr 26, 2006
    Personal fave song to enjoy Danko has to be Look Out Cleveland.
  18. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    What a soulful musician! I enjoy his bass work on the "Rock of Ages" and "The Band" albums.

    I owned and played a Ampeg AUB fretless with a grey bottom P-Bass pu for a time. Wish it was still here, but it would be better if Rick was. Friends that knew him say that his heart WAS gold.

    Robbie Robertson, boy I loved his contributions as well, even if he did disband "The Band". An interesting read is Levon Helm's "Wheels of Fire".

    I remember getting the reissued "Music From Big Pink" album a few years ago and discovering that a bunch (but not all) of the bass lines on the album are played on a keyboard. At least it sure sounds like they were. All of the members of The Band have given credit to keyboardist Garth Hudson for showing them parts that would make the group sound better.

    Danko singing "Whispering Pines"......holy sh-------t! If you haven't heard it, please find a copy and listen.
  19. Sneckumhaw


    Apr 26, 2006
    That is co-written and sung by Richard Manuel, not Danko. One odd thing that tends to happen is that many people wrongly give other singers from The Band (particularly Rick) credit for Richard's vocals, I'm guessing because of how little he was featured in The Last Waltz.
  20. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    No surprise. That had to happen for a lot of reasons, not only because of the live performances themselves. Yeah, it's pretty tragic to watch that film a realize how many drugs were being used, by almost everyone. Pretty heavy business.

    I guess the low point of the whole affair might have been when Martin Scorcesse ( sp.?) tried to block Muddy Waters from taking part in the concert. I don't think that Muddy needed to overdub his part.

    Martin and Robbie evidently holed up together for quite some time to piece the whole thing together.

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