New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media

Big News! Emily Mann to retire as McCarter Theatre's Artistic Director following 2019-2020 season
Click here for the story!

Jim Weider Talks About The Weight

By Gary Wien

originally published: 04/08/2015

Jim Weider Talks About The Weight

The Band may be best remembered for backing Bob Dylan and being the subject of Martin Scorsese's brilliant documentary The Last Waltz, but their music holds a special place in history as well. In fact, one could argue that they were one of the originators of the Americana sound so prevalent in today's music. Songs like "Up on Cripple Creek", "Life Is A Carnival" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" have been staples of class rock radio stations for decades.  The music continues on stage thanks to a group called The Weight, which takes its name from another classic cut.  The Weight will perform at The Newton Theatre on Saturday, April 18 at 8pm.  Tickets range from $32-$42.

Jim Weider and Randy Ciarlante started The Weight to not only pay tribute to the music of The Band but with the intention to to recreate the music as close to the original recordings as possible.

"Randy and I had done several shows with Jimmy Vivino and Garth Hudson from The Band, along with Byron Isaacs from Levon Helm band (playing the songs of The Band) and they went so well that when Jimmy got busy with his group The Fab Faux and Garth was touring with his wife we said why don't we do it?" said Weider, describing the inspiration behind The Weight. "It was really great to play the songs again."

The Weight mostly plays songs from The Band during their sets but will throw in something like "I Shall Be Released" by Bob Dylan as well.  Weider says his favorite songs to perform live include "Life Is A Carnival," "Remedy," "Whispering Pines", and, of course, "The Weight."  The songs have the feel of The Band because all of the musicians have a direct connection to the legendary group.  Both Weider and Ciarlante are former members of The Band.  Weider replaced Robbie Robertson on lead guitar in the 2nd incarnation of The Band from 1985 until 2000.  Ciarlante drummed and sang alongside Levon Helm in the second incarnation of The Band and also in The Levon Helm Band up until Levon's passing.  Both performed on three of The Band's studio albums (Jericho, High on the Hog, and Jubilation).  The Weight is rounded out by Brian Mitchell and Byron Isaccs who are both current members of Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Band and Marty Grebb, who has written songs for The Band.

Having musicians with a direct connection to the songs of The Band is very important.  It lends a certain credibility and feel to the songs that help separate the live shows of The Weight with those of regular tribute groups.

The article continues after this ad


Weider's career is full of great memories from his days with The Band.  Some of the highlights include meeting Eric Clapton, playing at Rogers Waters' The Wall with Ronnie Hawkins, performing at Carnegie Hall with a full horn section, and taking part in Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration at Madison Square Garden in 1992.  

"The songs are such a big part of American music culture," continued Weider.  "They are what I grew up with and the music was a big part of my life.  It's the Woodstock/Catskill Mountain music for me, and its what Levon, Rick, and Richard would have wanted."


 After the show in Newton, The Weight heads on the road again with stops in New York, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Delaware  before returning to New Jersey.  They'll be headlining a show at the Levoy Theatre in Millville on June 13.  For more information on The Weight visit

For more by this author, click here

Light of Day's Main Event To Be Broadcast Live at McLoone's Supper Club
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- If you couldn't get tickets for the fabled "main event" of the 2019 Light of Day Winterfest, you have another chance see the show.  For the first time in the 19-year history of the festival, the "main event", the star-studded “Bob’s Birthday Bash” on January 19th (a show that has long sold out), will be broadcast live via fiber optic cable at McLoone's Supper Club in Asbury Park.
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts To Hold Winter Open House On January 27
(BERKELEY HEIGHTS) -- Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) will host a Winter Open House on Sunday, January 27 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The free event is open to the public and will be held at the Performing Arts School (PAS) located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights.
Billy Idol and Steve Stevens To Perform At Count Basie Center For The Arts
(RED BANK, NJ) -- Billy Idol and Steve Stevens, one of rock’s most iconic and enduring duos, will hit the road this March for their first ever tour performing as a duo: Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged. The Billy Idol/Steve Stevens tour comes to The Count Basie Center for the Arts on Thursday, April 4th.
McDonald's Gospelfest To Celebrate The Life of Aretha Franklin With Return to Prudential Center
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The 37th Annual McDonald’s Gospelfest returns to the Prudential Center on Saturday, May 11 for the gospel event of the year. This year's event will honor and celebrate the life and legacy of the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin with an All-Star cast. The 5:00pm to 7:00pm portion of the evening will feature a rising stars competition for all ages and cultures in categories including Soloists, Choirs, Praise Dancers, Singing Groups, Gospel Comedians, Gospel Poets and Gospel Rappers. The gospel concert, beginning at 7:00pm, will feature some of the most renowned gospel artists in music history with the goal of spreading love, peace and joy to all races, nationalities and beliefs.
Bickford Theatre Presents Herb Gardner's Groundhog Jam
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- The great Groundhog Jam has a long history of prying jazz fans out of their warm burrows and into the chill of February weather in order to welcome the advent of spring.  The Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum continues a tradition of hosting this event on Monday, February 4 at 7:30pm. Herb Gardner, who plays both trombone and piano, is assembling a stellar group of musicians from the New York, New Jersey, and New England areas including: Fred Vigorito on cornet, Joe Licari on clarinet, James Chirilloon guitar, Mike Weatherly on bass and Robbie Scott on drums.  Daughters Abbie and Sarah Gardner will be handling the vocals and guitar.

Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes At Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme
This coming Sunday, January 20, Scott Wolfson and his band will be serving up their unique blend of Americana at the Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme series at Investors Bank Theater in Succasunna, New Jersey. The band – Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes – formed in Jersey City in 2011, and, even though the members have migrated in various directions since then, they still consider themselves to be a Jersey City band.
"He Totally Wowed Us!" John Oates LIVE! at SOPAC
It’s brisk for an evening walk on South Orange Ave. in South Orange, NJ, this Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 evening, but it’s a good road to follow as it leads us directly to the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) for a special performance by singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Oates and his backup group, The Good Road Band.
“Tons of Fun!” The Glenn Miller Orchestra LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Although Friday, December 21, 2018 is the shortest day of the year, the audience of big band music lovers here at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts is hoping for a long evening of classic swing and holiday tunes performed by the incomparable Glenn Miller Orchestra!
Mike Davis and The New Wonders
Mike Davis traces his love for the trumpet back to a Disney movie. He grew up in a musical family, with both his parents playing strings in the Seattle Symphony. But Davis wanted an instrument of his own. Then, at age 9, he saw “The Aristocats,” the animated film about a bunch of French felines — including a group of jazz-playing alley cats.
Ana Gasteyer's "Holiday Tipple" LIVE! at the Grunin Center
The Grunin Center stage in Toms River, NJ is set this Saturday, December 15, 2018 with drums, a grand piano, a guitar, an acoustic bass, and various microphones for vocals. A stool and several microphone stands are bedazzled with colorful garlands of shiny red, gold, and green, and wrapped gifts are strewn on stage among the instruments. Projected white snowflakes adorn the walls, and Christmas music plays as patrons enter the theater to put everyone in the mood for tonight’s holiday show — Ana Gastayer’s Holiday Tipple!

Event calendar
Thursday, Jan 17, 2019


Open Mic Night! @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 7:30pm


"Apple Season" by E.M. Lewis @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm


AMERICAN GIRL LIVE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm

View all events


For more on our awards, click here

New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 |

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.