Garth Hudson early life, career, and more

Who is Garth Hudson?

Garth Hudson is a Canadian musician known for his role as a multi-instrumentalist in the rock group The Band. His innovative use of electronic instruments, particularly the Lowrey organ, and clavinet, was a key part of the group’s sound. Hudson played on classic albums such as “Music from Big Pink” and “The Band” and continues to perform and record music today.

Garth Hudson was described as “the most brilliant organist in the rock world” by Keyboard Magazine. Described by Elton John as one of his early influences, Garth is a master of the Lowrey organ. He is also a skilled piano, accordion, and electronic keyboard player. 

He is recognized as one of the most influential musicians of his generation.

Quick facts

Full nameEric Garth Hudson
BirthdayAugust 2, 1937
Age86 years old
Sun signLeo
BirthplaceWindsor, Ontario, Canada
Current residenceNew York City, New York, USA
ParentsFred James Hudson,
Olive Louella Pentland
SiblingsJudith Hudson
Marital statusMarried
SpouseSister Maud Hudson
ChildrenTami Zoe Hill
EducationUniversity of Western Ontario,
Broughdale Public School,
Medway High School
ProfessionMulti-instrumentalist and composer
Net worthUSD 250,000
Social mediaFacebook


Garth Hudson was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, to Fred James Hudson and Olive Louella Pentland on August 2, 1937. The love for music defined his childhood, which his parents and relatives heavily influenced. His parents were skilled musicians and introduced Hudson to music at an early age. As a child, he started playing the piano and quickly picked up other instruments, including the accordion and flute.

Childhood photo of Garth Hudson

Hudson’s parents‘ diverse musical tastes played a significant role in shaping his musical abilities and interests. He grew up listening to jazz and blues on the radio, which also influenced his music. Hudson wrote his song at 11, and at 12, he began playing professionally with dance bands.

The legendary musician attended Broughdale Public School and Medway High School, where he likely received formal music theory, harmony, and counterpoint training. He went on to study music at the University of Western Ontario but dropped out after a year to pursue a full-time career in music.

In 1961, Ronnie Hawkins and Levon Helm reached Garth Hudson to join their band, the Hawks. Hudson initially declined their offer but later agreed to join the band on two conditions: Hawkins buying him a Lowrey organ and paying him an extra $10 a week to give music lessons to the other Hawks.

Hudson’s parents were concerned about him playing in a rock and roll band because of the apparent taboo (sex, drugs, and rock and roll) surrounding it.

When Hudson joined the Hawks, he completed the line-up that would later become The Band. The band’s original members were all in their late teens or early twenties, and they quickly gained a reputation for their innovative sound and musical prowess. Hudson’s skill with electronic instruments, particularly the Lowrey organ, would become a signature feature of The Band’s music.


Garth Hudson’s father, Fred James Hudson, is a WW I veteran. He served as a fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Additionally, Fred played drums, C melody saxophone, clarinet, flute, and piano. After leaving the airforce, he became a farm inspector.

Garth’s mother, Olive Louella Pentland, was also a musician. She played piano and accordion. Additionally, she was an amazing singer. They both were instrumental in shaping his musical career by providing him with a supportive environment to explore his musical interests.

Hudson had a close relationship with his parents, and they encouraged him to pursue his musical talents. They gave him access to musical instruments and lessons and nurtured his creative talents. Hudson’s parents’ influence on his music can be seen in his early training in classical music and his later experimentation with electronic instruments.

Hudson had a younger sister, Judith, a professional pianist, and composer.


Garth Hudson and Maud Hudson’s relationship began in the late 1960s when they met at one of The Band’s concerts in Toronto, Canada. Maud was a fan of the group and attended the show, where she caught Garth’s eye. The two struck up a conversation backstage and quickly hit it off. They began dating, and their relationship blossomed over time.

Garth Hudson with his wife Maud Hudson

Garth and Maud were married in 1972 and have been together for over four decades. Their marriage has been described as a loving and supportive partnership, with both partners deeply committed to each other and sharing a love of music. Maud has been a significant influence on Garth’s music, and she has contributed to The Band’s sound by playing the piano, organ, and accordion on some of their recordings.

Throughout their relationship, Garth and Maud have traveled extensively, performing and singing together for fans of their music. They have visited many countries, including Canada, the United States, Europe, and Japan. Their passion for music has brought them closer, and they continue collaborating on musical projects.

Garth and Maud have also been involved in their community in Woodstock, New York, where they have lived for many years. Hudson and Maud were married in a small ceremony surrounded by family and friends in Woodstock. They went on to have a daughter, Tami Zoe Hill.

Hudson and Maud remained married until Maud’s death on February 28, 2022. Their marriage was marked by deep love and mutual respect, and their partnership was instrumental in shaping Hudson’s successful music career.

Maud Marie Kegel Hudson

Maud Hudson was born to William and Marion Kegel on September 28, 1950, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, USA. She was a talented musician known for her singing and guitar playing.

Maud and Garth traveled extensively, performing and singing together for fans of their music. They have visited many countries and made their home in Woodstock, New York.

In addition to her work with her husband and his bandmates, Maud was also known for her collaborations with other musicians. She has performed and recorded with various artists, including Norah Jones, Albert Collins, and Dr. John. Critics have praised Maud’s singing, and she was known for her unique renditions of familiar and obscure songs.

Garth’s wife passed away on February 21, 2022, at the age of 71, in Woodstock, New York.

Daughter and son-in-law of Garth Hudson


Garth Hudson is a Canadian musician and multi-instrumentalist best known as a member of the legendary rock group The Band. He was born on August 2, 1937, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Hudson began his career in music in the 1950s when he joined the band The Silhouettes, later known as Paul London And The Capers. In 1961, he joined Ronnie Hawkins’ backing band, The Hawks, which later became The Band. Hudson played the keyboards, saxophone, and accordion with The Band, among other instruments.

Hudson’s musical style was unique and innovative, and he was known for his use of unusual musical instruments and his ability to blend different musical genres. He played a key role in creating The Band’s distinctive sound, a blend of rock, folk, country, and blues music.

After The Band disbanded in 1976, Hudson continued to work as a session musician, lending his talents to many films and albums by other artists, including Emmylou Harris, Van Morrison, and Leonard Cohen.

In 1983, The Band reformed without Robbie Robertson, and Hudson continued to perform and record with the group until its dissolution in the late 1990s. He also released his first solo album, The Sea to the North, in 2001.

In 2002, Hudson formed the band Burrito Deluxe and released two albums with them. He also released Garth Hudson Presents: A Canadian Celebration of the Band in 2010, which featured various Canadian musicians covering songs by The Band.

Throughout his career, Garth Hudson has been widely regarded as one of his generation’s most innovative and talented musicians. He has received numerous accolades for his contributions to music and continues to be an influential figure in rock and roll.

1968Music from Big PinkThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1969The BandThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1970Stage FrightThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1971CahootsThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1972Rock of AgesThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1973Moondog MatineeThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1974Planet Waves (Bob Dylan and The Band)Bob Dylan and The BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1975Northern Lights – Southern CrossThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1976The Last Waltz (The Band)The BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1977IslandsThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1978The Best of The Band, Vol. IIThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1979The Band (The Band)The BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1983JerichoThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1986The Best of The Band, Vol. IIIThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1987The Very Best of The BandThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1989To Kingdom Come: The Definitive CollectionThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1990The Best of The Band, Vol. IIThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1993Jericho (reissue)The BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1994Across the Great DivideThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1996High on the HogThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1998JubilationThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
1999Live at Watkins GlenThe BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
2001The Sea to the NorthGarth HudsonKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
2004The Bootleg Series Vol. 6: Bob Dylan Live 1964, Concert at Philharmonic HallBob Dylan and The BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
2005A Musical History (The Band)The BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
2008The Band: Live at the Academy of Music 1971The BandKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion
2010Garth Hudson Presents: A Canadian Celebration of The BandGarth HudsonKeyboards, Saxophone, Accordion


Canada South Blues SocietyLifetime Achievement AwardWinner (2002)
Hamilton Music SceneInstrumentalist of the YearWinner (2005)
Blues Hall of Fame“Legendary Blues Artist”Inducted (2012)
London Music AwardsLondon Music Hall Of FameInducted (2014)
Order of CanadaMember of the Order of CanadaMember (2019)
TitleStatus (year)
Juno Award’s Canadian Music Hall of FameInducted (1989)
Rock and Roll Hall of FameInducted (1994)
Hamilton Dofasco Lifetime of Achievement AwardWinner (2007)
Grammy Awards Lifetime of Achievement Award Winner (2008)
Canada’s Walk of FameInducted (2014)

Net worth

Garth Hudson has a net worth of USD 250,000 or less. He had earned a fortune as a musician; however, the mismanagement of money let him down.

Per his landlord Mike Piazza, the musician owned around USD 70,000 in back rent and other fees. Additionally, he took a mortgage of USD 150,000 in 1990. Hudson failed to make payments; as a result, he accrued interest and penalties. As a result, the musician owned more than USD 350,000.

The last bankruptcy filing was August 2000, and the stay on the foreclosure was dismissed around June 2001 because Hudson had not paid his bills, Thiemann said.


Are Garth Hudson and Robbie Robertson friends?

There have been conflicting reports over the years regarding the friendship between Garth Hudson and Robbie Robertson, both former members of The Band. Some sources suggest that the two had a close friendship during their time together in the band, while others claim that there was tension and even animosity between them. They were last seen together in 2014  when the Band was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.

Where is Garth Hudson now?

According to the most recent information, Garth Hudson lives in a care facility in upstate New York. This was reported in September 2021, and it is unclear if his location changed. Hudson is now 84 years old and is one of the few surviving members of The Band.

What happened to Garth Hudson’s money?

Garth Hudson has indeed faced financial struggles over the years. According to some reports, he has borrowed money from fellow musicians and declared bankruptcy multiple times. Additionally, he has faced the loss of his home to foreclosure at least once.

Did Garth Hudson play on the weight?

Yes, Garth Hudson played on The Weight. His contributions to the song are significant, as he played the distinctive organ riff that opened the track and added to its overall sound and atmosphere.

What kind of organ did Garth Hudson play?

Garth Hudson is known for playing various keyboard instruments, including piano, accordion, and several different types of organs. One of his most notable organs was the Lowrey Berkshire Deluxe TBO-1 organ, a popular keyboard instrument in the 1960s and 70s. Hudson used this organ extensively on many of The Band’s recordings, and its distinctive sound is a key part of the group’s overall sound and style.

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