Garth Hudson (born August 2, 1937) is a prodigiously
talented multi-instrumentalist and virtuoso keyboard player, whose gospel-oriented
sound partially came from his use of the Lowrey organ. Hudson provided the lush
yet innovative accompaniment on the song “Up on Cripple Creek,” which featured Hudson
playing a clavinet
through a wah-wah pedal
to create a swampy sound reminiscent of a jaw harp or
the croak of a frog.
(This clavinet/wah pedal configuration was later adapted by many funk musicians.)
orchestral tone sense and dramatic, pitch-bending improvisational style
anticipated many of the sonic advances of the polyphonic synthesizer. His other primary
instruments are piano, accordion and saxophone.
genius is evident on every Band album as well as his work with Dylan,
and the many other albums he contributed to over the years. He will always be
the supreme rock ‘n’ roll keyboard player of all time easily outshining those
whose names are more well-known and those who beat him out in music polls.
Hudson is a much-in-demand session musician and has contributed to dozens of
recordings by other musicians, recently including Leonard
Cohen, the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Gipsy Kings,
Lobos and Wilco.
released an innovative solo CD in 2001. Featuring vocals by wife Maud Hudson, The
Sea to the North melded elements of jazz, blues, country, folk, rock and
ethnic styles. In 2005, Garth and Maud Hudson released Live at the Wolf,
a piano and vocal CD recorded live at the Wolf Performance Hall in London,
Ontario, Garth’s hometown.
was inducted into the Juno Hall of Fame (The Band
) in 1989 and the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame (The Band
) in 1994. On July 13, 2002, he was
honored with the coveted Canada South Blues Society’s Lifetime Achievement
Award. There are also plans for The Garth Hudson Institute
innovative learning methods.