Writer: Robbie Robertson
Producers: The Band and John Simon
Recorded: July 22nd, 1969, at The Hit Factory in New York City
Released: September 22nd, 1969
|Players:||Levon Helm — vocals, percussion
Robbie Robertson — guitar, vocals
Rick Danko — bass, vocals
Richard Manuel — piano, vocals
Garth Hudson — keyboards, jaw harp
|Album:||The Band (Capitol, 1969)|
The second single from the Band's self-titled second album, “Up On Cripple Creek” reached Number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Like many of Robbie Robertson's songs, it's an earthy bit of Americana that evokes rural, Southern landscapes and gritty, sepia-toned characters.
One of the song's most distinctive moments comes just before the bridge, when Garth Hudson plays a jaw harp through a wah-wah pedal. “There's a break in the music, and Garth did that jaw harp thing and that was the hook that just pulled your ear in,” said Levon Helm. Hudson, meanwhile, added, “We would stick a wah-wah pedal on anything, and we tried it on the clavinet” for that song as well.
The Band, considered by many critics to be the group's defining musical triumph, hit Number Nine on the Billboard 200 — the group's first top 10 album — and Number 25 in the U.K.
In the summer before the release of The Band, the group performed at both the original Woodstock festival and with Bob Dylan at the Isle Of Wight Festival Of Music in England.
In the wake of the album's success and of the Band's growing reputation, the group was placed on the cover of Time magazine's January 12th, 1970, issue as flag-bearers for “The New Sound Of Country Rock.”