Some sad news on Levon Helm's web site: http://www.levonhelm.com/
Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.
Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration... he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage...
We appreciate all the love and support and concern.
From his daughter Amy, and wife Sandy
He was such a wonderful musician and life force. He and his band led by Larry Campbell, and Bruce Springsteen with the E Street Band are my two favorite live acts. I love the picture of him with Emmylou on the first page of the web site.
Excuse the indulgance but here's a review I wrote about a concert in NYC I attended about four years ago:
I just love attending a great concert when the artist(s) are really
cooking and the audience is sooooo into it and you have one of those
moments when the band plays a classic and the entire audience sings
along and everyone is just enveloped with good will and a sense of
community with hundreds or thousands of total strangers.
I went to see The Levon Helm Band on Friday night at The Beacon
Theatre in NYC and it was a fantastic show all around. Ollabelle
opened (with Martha Scanlon subbing for Amy Helm who gave birth
about 10 days ago to a boy named Levon Henry). All of the members of
Ollabelle came out at varous times but there was also a rotating
cast of about 20 other musicians including a five piece horn
section and guests like Phoebe Snow and Allan Toussaint. They played
most of Levon's new album, Dirt Farmer, as well as tunes by Van
Morrison, Woody Guthrie, The Grateful Dead, Dylan and, of course,
For me, the highlight of a show filled with highlights was the
encore when everyone on stage and all 3,300 in the sold out SRO
audience joined in a group singing of "I Shall Be Released." For
that brief moment, there was no war in Iraq, no Shrub in the White
House, no mortgage crisis or rising unemployment or looming
recession, no bosses who are a-holes, no friends battling back from
brain tumors, no 12 year old cousins struggling with leukemia--
there was just a sense of hope and the healing power of music.
The whole experience made me think of one of my favorite Emmylou
lines. I'm paraphrasing here but she said something like: "I'm not
particularly religious-- music is my church."
If you get a chance to see The Levon Helm Band, I urge you to go. I
defy you not to have a great time!