Interview: Jim Weider and The Weight Band Return the SOPAC Stage Dec 9

The Weight Band (photo credit Michael Bram)

Even if you don’t know it, you are probably a fan of The Weight Band. If you’ve ever sung along with “The Weight,” “Up on Cripple Creek,” “Ophelia,” or “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” you are enjoying the Americana and folk rock that made The Band famous and has kept them popular since the 1960s. With some of the same members as The Band, The Weight Band picks up and expands where The Band left off.

“The Weight Band is a continuation of The Band’s sound and feel without being the same thing,” says Jim Weider, who plays guitar, mandolin and vocals, was a member of The Band and is now a member of The Weight Band.

The Weight Band (photo credit Michael Bram)

The Weight Band was born in the Woodstock, NY barn of legendary The Band member, Levon Helm. In 2013, he brought together fellow The Band members Weider and Randy Ciarlante, and started recreating the Americana musical stories that made The Band famous on their own, and as they collaborated with Bob Dylan in the 60s.

Eventually, The Weight Band added Michael Bram (drums and vocals), Brian Mitchell (keyboards and vocals), Matt Zeiner (keyboards and vocals), and Albert Rogers (bass and vocals) to round out the Woodstock sound, and The Weight Band came to life.

The Weight Band plays classics from The Band, including, as you might guess, “The Weight.” But they also play favorites like “Life’s a Carnival” and “Long Black Veil.”

In February, The Weight Band released its first album featuring all new material, World Gone Mad. You’ll hear songs like “Common Man” and, as the album title suggests, “World Gone Mad.”

Just like The Band, The Weight Band is a mixture of musical styles, featuring the mandolin, organ and electric guitar. Their music has been categorized as Rhythm & Blues mixed with Rock ‘n Roll and folk music. “It’s a soup of all kinds of music. And it has a little New Orleans sound, too,” says Weider.

“We played Carnegie Hall recently,” says Weider of the Annual Thanksgiving Concert at Carnegie Hall, where The Weight Band took the stage with Arlo Guthrie. After playing a mix of older The Band songs blended with new The Weight Band material, they were delighted at their reception. “We got a standing ovation,” says Weider.

Both The Weight Band and The Band are very popular in our area. “We’ve played SOPAC a couple of times. Each time we see so many supportive fans in New Jersey. We really appreciate it,” says Weider. So get your tickets to the December 9th show while seats are still available.

Get your tickets here.

The Weight Band
1 SOPAC Way,South Orange, NJ 07079