Arts & Entertainment

Off Track: Jim Weider

When you spend 15 years playing guitar for a band, actually make that The Band, that winds up in the Hall of Fame, you could likely call it at a career and feel pretty satisfied. After all, in guitarist Jim Weider's case, he had already gained international acclaim, played songs immortalized by a generation, performed with Keith Richards, and met Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan. But all of that just wasn't enough to satiate Weider.

“I'm still driven,” Weider says. “I still love getting that great guitar sound. That just lights me up.”

So, 15 years after replacing original member Robbie Robertson when The Band reformed in 1985, Weider struck out on his own with albums Bigfoot and Remedy. That's when he confronted his latest challenge.

“Both Bigfoot and Remedy fell into blues rock territory and I felt backed into a creative corner,” Weider says. “I wanted to write myself out of it.”

So he started putting together Project Percolator, his latest outfit that also includes former Steve Kimock Band members Mitch Stein (guitar) and Rodney Holmes (drums), as well as bassist Steve Lucas.

Weider credits Stein for infusing a jazz-fusion quality into the music, while giving a nod to Holmes for “really stretching [the music] out.”

Percolator's resulting blend is one that ranges from atmospheric guitar music to powerful Zeppelin-esque rock. The strange brew can be found, aptly, at Jammin' Java on Feb. 22.

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