I've been listening to The Band a lot lately. It's been time well spent!
I came to the group years ago (like, oh, around 2000) through the usual path ... I was getting into Bob Dylan, and I kept reading about The Basement Tapes and the group that Bob recorded them with. There were no Lennons or McCartneys in this group. No George Harrison, no Ringo Starr. No Clapton. No superstars.
The Band were musicians. Veterans of the road. Rhythm and blues, country and western, rockabilly, rock and roll, gospel ... Throw that in a blender, add some Walt Whitman, some Bach, some Canadian winter and a dash of Arkansas moonshine -- out comes The Band.