Thursday, April 19, 2012

Levon Helm (1940-2012)

There hasn't been sufficient time to pay tribute to Dick Clark, whom the world lost yesterday.  There's so much to say; so much to write.

Yet today's passing of Levon Helm - the news just breaking - is equally profound, but on a different level.  The Band was legendary; a true Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member.  Helm and his mates (the classic lineup of Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, and Rick Danko) each found their own level of personal success.

Helm's post-Band career included his Midnight Rambles in Woodstock, NY, a concert at his barn featuring a collection of artists both well-known and well-regarded (but perhaps not as familiar).  He continued to record, earning Grammy's in the Americana category.

It's difficult to pick a single song to represent Helm, so I will go with the two most obvious.  Here is Levon singing lead of the amazing version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" from The Last Waltz, November 25, 1976.

Of equal acclaim and amazement is "The Weight."  Utterly brilliant and beautiful.  This is the studio version.

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