Garth Hudson

garth hudson RKB

Both Garth’s parents were musicians. His mother played piano, accordion, and sang, and his father played drums, sax, clarinet, flute, and piano

Hudson was classically trained in Ontario, Canada in Piano, music theory, harmony, and counterpoint.

He was already playing with local dance bands at the age of 12

He joined American R&B/R&R/Country artist Ronnie Hawkins in 1961. “The Hawks”, Hawkin’s backup band, already included Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, and Richard Manuel – the full lineup for what would eventually become THE BAND

While Garth was in Hawkins’ band, he performed on and perfected The Lowery Organ instead of the Hammond B-3, which was the De Facto instrument of the day. This could account for some of his unique sound and style

The band left Ronnie Hawkins in 1963 to do their own thing. Hudson and pianist Richard Manuel, handled the dual keyboard parts, often brilliantly

On the commercial hit “Up on Cripple Creek”, Garth played a Clavinet through a wah-wah pedal, creating an unusual, and totally unique sound

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994