Wednesday, March 21, 2012

[Listen] Covering Your Wednesdays: Levon Helm

My favorite band of all time is The Band. I honestly can’t count the number of times I have watched "The Last Waltz," and I've always been intrigued by not only The Band’s music, but their story as well. Many would say that Robbie Robertson is the “front man” of The Band, but I’d like to disagree. There’s no way that some Canadian wrote songs such as The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Up On Cripple Creek and The Weight (even though he has claimed authorship on most of The Band’s songs…you can read a good article about this topic here).

The real man behind these classic hits is Levon Helm: a native from a small town in Arkansas who has done more for music in my opinion than all others in his field. Levon played the drums for The Band, but also provided a deep country, yet soulful voice for the five-man-band.

Even though the Band is long separated, Levon is still rocking. He has released numerous solo albums, including two studio albums in his later years. Today’s track is a cover of The Grateful Dead’s Tennessee Jed from Helm’s album, "Electric Dirt."  In this classic tune, Levon manages to take it and really spin it around with more of a swing feeling filled with horns and some other groovy instruments, all while keeping it in his “roots.”

If you like what you hear, be sure to check out more of Levon’s work. Also, if you’re lucky enough to live up north near New York, I would highly suggest you look into attending one of Levon’s Midnight Ramble’s that are hosted in his cabin in the upstate. From what I hear, it is quite the experience and I definitely plan on making the trip myself. To get an idea of what I’m talking about, check out the recently released live album, "Ramble At the Ryman," which is a recording from a weekend up in Woodstock featuring acts such as Sam Bush, Sheryl Crow, John Hiatt, and Buddy Miller, all with of course Levon Helm on the drums. Enjoy

Tennessee Jed (Grateful Dead Cover) - Levon Helm 

Purchase more of 
Levon Helm's music HERE

1 comment:

  1. Ramble at the Ryman was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee at the Ryman Auditorium (Grand Ole Opry). But yes, the Midnight Rambles inn Woodstock are the best thing in the world.