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Starting out as a backing group for Ronnie Hawkins, before being propelled on to the world stage by Bob Dylan, The Band literally changed the course of music with their first two albums. Retreating from the psychedelic circus of '60s rock, these four Canadians and one Arkansas boy hid away in upstate New York and steered rock 'n' roll back to its funky rural roots. Today The Band's soulful fusion of country, R&B, gospel, jazz and vaudeville is more revered than ever, exerting a massive influence on everyone from Uncle Tupelo to Ryan Adams. Across the Great Divide is a vivid and rollicking account of the group's journey. Spanning the entire course of American rock, and boasting a supporting cast that includes Dylan, Janis Joplin and U2, it brilliantly captures the raw magic and complex personalities of these 'musicians' musicians'.
Barney Hoskyns was born in England in 1959 and began writing for the New Musical Express after leaving Oxford. He has since written for The Times, the New Statesman, Guardian, Spin, the Los Angeles Reader, Creem, Vogue, and many other publications. In 1987 his acclaimed study of Southern soul music, Say it One Time for the Brokenhearted, was published. He is also the author of Imp of the Perverse (a study of Prince), From a Whisper to a Scream: The Great Voices, and Beautiful Loser, about Montgomery Clift and Ragged Glories.