Up on Cripple Creek
|"Up on Cripple Creek"|
|Single by The Band|
|from the album The Band|
|B-side||"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"|
|Released||November 29, 1969|
|Genre||Roots rock, Americana|
"Up on Cripple Creek" is the fifth song on The Band's eponymous second album, The Band. It was released as a (edited) single on Capitol 2635 in November 1969 and reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Up on Cripple Creek" was written by Band guitarist and principal songwriter Robbie Robertson, with drummer Levon Helm singing lead vocal.
A live performance of "Up on Cripple Creek" appears in The Band's live concert film The Last Waltz, as well as on the accompanying soundtrack album. In addition, a live version of the song appears on Before the Flood; a live album of The Band's various concerts and shows with Bob Dylan while touring together in 1974.
"Up on Cripple Creek" is notable as it is one of the first instances of a Hohner Clavinet being played with a wah-wah pedal. The riff can be heard after each chorus of the song. The Clavinet, especially in tandem with a wah pedal was a sound that became famous in the early to mid '70s especially in funk music, and continues to be popular to this day.
Drawing upon three of The Band's favorite themes -- The American South, American folk music, and alcoholism -- the song tells the story of a miner who goes to Lake Charles, Louisiana to stay with a local girl who he knows will put him up for free while he blows all his money on drinks. Although he admits to having some feelings for his "little Bessie", he uses her hospitality to drink himself to oblivion. At the end of the song, he pushes off once more for greener pastures, although with the stated intention of coming back to his Bessie.
Chart performance 
|Canadian RPM Singles Chart||10|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||25|
- Rick Danko- bass guitar, backing vocal
- Levon Helm- lead vocal, drums
- Garth Hudson- clavinet with wah-wah pedal, Lowrey organ
- Richard Manuel- acoustic piano, backing vocal
- Robbie Robertson- electric guitar
- The Oak Ridge Boys do a cover on their album Bobbie Sue
- Tom Wopat does a cover on the 1979 The Dukes of Hazzard TV show soundtrack
- Dave Matthews & Friends covered this song during a number of their shows on the tour
- David Allan Coe has been known to cover this song
- The Gourds often cover this during an interlude of "Gin and Juice" by Snoop Dogg
- Gomez cover the song on the Band tribute album Endless Highway: The Music of The Band
- Keisuke Kuwata does a cover with the Southern All Stars in the swamp medley along with "Dixie Chicken" and "Sweet Home Alabama"
- Miranda Lambert covered this song during her 2011 tour at Billy Bob's Texas, Fort Worth, Texas
- John Mayer and Keith Urban performed a cover version at the 2011 Tiger Jam in Las Vegas