Various Endless Highway: The Music Of The Band

Many of the Band’s songs have been part of other artists’ repertoires for years, but their legacy has largely been built upon the group’s spirit of musical equality and camaraderie, best displayed on their first two era-defining records. To somehow reproduce that magic has proved impossible, despite many attempts, which is what makes the prospect of a Band tribute album seem simultaneously daunting and redundant. Possibly for this reason few expected many big names to step up to the plate on Endless Highway, which largely results in interpretations that merely skim the surface of what the songs hold. There are exceptions of course: My Morning Jacket’s hard-hitting, widescreen take on "It Makes No Difference” is as genuinely moving as the original, Jakob Dylan shows more affinity for his father’s disciples than his father on "Whispering Pines” and the unlikely Death Cab For Cutie wrench every drop of melancholy out of "Rockin’ Chair.” But aside from these and a few other notable performances, Endless Highway only proves that the heart of the Band’s best music remains elusive for the majority of those who continue to pursue it. Such is the price of genius. (429)