The band’s sophomore album is a great slice of Americana. About three-way tie for my favorite of theirs. Though the obvious classic is “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, the rest of the songs definately pull their weight (pun intended)!
Supposedly the record is a concept of people and places from America’s past. I don’t discount it, but I feel it is somewhat disingenious to call the genre a ‘concept album’. Americana seems to me less a conceptual project than a genre feel.
That being said, “Across The Divide” does provide a nice start to the proceedings, as if the divide were more of time rather than space. If The Band (AKA The Brown Album) is a concept. There is no particular plot or through line especially. These musical portrais can stand perfectly in isolation as well as they do in sequence.
I do think “Rag Mama Rag” is a great little rocker that reminds the listener of their history with Bob Dylan.
Also, many of the songs have an undenyably funky taste to them that I feel is never noted. Give a listen to “Up On Cripple Creek” and “King Harvest (Has Surley Come)”. No, it’s not the focus, but it’s there.