Arts & Culture South Orange

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

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 the