Testimony

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aec.capb002580302.2
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Review

Review Text Released as a companion to Robbie Robertson's 2016 memoir of the same name, Testimony is the singer/songwriter's own take on his musical history -- an 18-track compilation that samples from every era of his career, from his time supporting Ronnie Hawkins to his stabs at moody trip-hop. While the book ends when the Band disbands, Testimony finds space for selections from his solo career -- five songs total, with 1991's Storyville earning the largest play and the electronica aspects of 1998's Contract from the Underworld of Red Boy and 2011's How to Become Clairvoyant diminished. Still, the Band naturally figures heavily into the equation here, but Robertson avoids his biggest hits along with some of his best-known songs. Instead, he culls heavily from the Band's Live at the Academy of Music 1971 performance -- it's better known as the 1972 LP Rock of Ages -- and the 2005 Band box A Musical History, which is where all the early cuts from Levon Helm & the Hawks and the Robertson-sung "Twilight (Song Sketch)" were first released. If Testimony is light on rarities, what matters is context. By piecing together all these elements of his career -- including his time backing Hawkins ("Come Love") and Bob Dylan ("Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" from Before the Flood) -- he paints a fairly rich portrait of his musical achievements, so Testimony does indeed wind up being a musical memoir. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Testimony - 6:42
  2. 2. Bessie Smith - 4:18
  3. 3. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 - 4:38
  4. 4. Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [Live at the Academy of Music/1971] - 5:53
  5. 5. He Don't Love You (And He'll Break Your Heart) - 3:38
  6. 6. Somewhere Down the Crazy River - 5:56
  7. 7. Life Is a Carnival [Live at the Academy of Music/1971] - 4:05
  8. 8. It Makes No Difference - 7:32
  9. 9. Weight [Live at the Academy of Music/1971] - 5:18
  10. 10. Out of the Blue - 3:22
  11. 11. I'm Gonna Play the Honky Tonks - 3:04
  12. 12. Obviously Five Believers - 4:35
  13. 13. Soap Box Preacher - 5:21
  14. 14. Twilight [Song Sketch] - 3:22
  15. 15. Come Love - 3:08
  16. 16. When the Night Was Young - 5:05
  17. 17. Shape I'm In [Live at the Academy of Music/1971] - 4:52
  18. 18. Unbound - 5:37

Product Details

Release Date
11/11/16 

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