Celebrating The Music Of Levon Helm

Reading that Levon was on his final journey felt like a gut punch. This country has been blessed with many wonderful musicians, and much great music. But from the first time I'd heard his voice and through the decades as he kept on keeping on, it was clear at least to me that he personified the sound of music we call roots. When he sang a song the notes and tone both soared through the skies while also feeling...well, for lack of a better word...rooted. Whether with The Band or the hundreds of musicians he played with over time, when Levon was in the mix you just knew it. I can imagine that over the next few days and months there will be thousands and thousands of words written about the man. Both in celebration and in eulogy. For myself, I'd prefer to remember him by the music he made. So I'm scouring the places people post things and will try and share some of the moments that he made into magic. Please feel free to add your own memories. 

God bless Levon Helm.

Views: 5315

Tags: Easy Ed, Levon Helm, The Band

Comment by wolfy on April 17, 2012 at 4:31pm

voice that is unmistakable...American Treasure

Comment by victoria nowak on April 17, 2012 at 4:51pm

One of the great singers/drummers of our generation. I know the Band was Robbies ,but to me the Band will always be Levon and Rick! God Speed Levon

Comment by Old Crowe on April 17, 2012 at 6:30pm

Mr. Levon Helm, what a voice and one helluva musician!  A true American ambassador for American musicians of today and tomorrow.  Oddly enough, and this is no lie...   I was at a record store yesterday and low and behold what album do I see for sale?  A used vinyl copy of Mr. Levon Helm's 1980 release, "American Son."  It took me all of about a 100th of a second or less to swoop up on that beauty!  May God bless him and his family and may they be at peace.

Comment by Curtis Ray Barclift on April 18, 2012 at 2:54am

Elizabeth Cook had a comment about Levon on her radio show a couple of years ago.  She said that if God ever talks to her, he'll be using Levon Helm's voice.  Perfect.  And yes Ed, it's a gut punch.  And to Victoria Nowak, the Band was not Robbie's, although he would have it that way.   Levon had some definite opinions on that subject and I tend to be in his camp.  He certainly contributed more in his post-Band career.  Way more.  Godspeed.  You deserve your rest Mr. Helm.  And thank you. 

Comment by russ on April 18, 2012 at 4:30am

My heart and my prayers are with Levon and his family.

i feel broken having learned the news about his health yesterday.

Here's an interview from a while back...

Comment by Easy Ed on April 18, 2012 at 7:08am

The passing of Levon will certainly reignite the simmering flames of the old argument of whether The Band belonged to Robbie or Levon. And that will be a shame. As someone who has always been in Helm's camp on the subject (note that the first single issued by Atlantic Records was written by Robbie and credited to Levon and The Hawks), I awake this morning with more clarity on the subject. The Band was not one or two people's invention, it was a group of men who came together to make celestial sounds that will resonate with us forever. The Band belongs to all of us and taking time now to argue about the fracture and break is futile, pointless and takes away from the legacy that Levon Helm leaves for us. 

Comment by Carol Rodriguez on April 18, 2012 at 8:48am

the very best concert of my life was seeing mr. helm and his band perform at the independent in san francisco a few years ago.  i never had the pleasure of seeing the band live, and this was my one and only time seeing levon.  needless to say it was an absolute thrill as i have been a huge fan since i was a little girl.  we were right up front and at one point levon came out from behind his drum kit and played the mandolin while sitting on a stool. after a song or two he got off the stool and started playing the mandolin chuck berry style and before i knew it that mandolin was shake, rattlin' and rollin' right in my face which caused me to turn at least 5 shades of red.  when i peaked out from between my fingers that were now covering my burning hot face i saw an ear-to-ear grin on mr. helm's face, while the rest of the band was laughing behind him.  it was the best rock-n-roll moment of my life and the cherry on top was shaking the man's hand after the show.  i will never forget that night as long as i live.  god speed mr. helm - thanks for all the great music and memories!

Comment by Corinna Samples on April 18, 2012 at 8:57am

May God escort him gently to this midnight ramble.

Comment by Jack Williams on April 18, 2012 at 9:35am

Was listening to Electric Dirt this morning.  This one really hit home:


The only time I ever saw Levon in concert was a show that he and Rick Danko did in the early '80s at a small dive bar called The Alamo in Nanuet, NY.  It was definitely a "somebody pinch me" experience.  Levon was on mandolin and Rick was on acoustic guitar.  Strongest memories are Levon banging on the madolin and singing Rag Mama Rag with the crowd singing along, Rick pouring his heart out on It Makes No Difference,  and Levon's  "Ahhhhh, thank ya, neighbors" in between songs.   Best concert experience of my life.

Thank you, Levon. 

Comment by Jack on April 18, 2012 at 11:20am

Yeah, Ed, quintessential roots musician, a magnificent musician. Have seen the Last Waltz a handful of times on Blu-Ray on a 16' screen with the sound run through a great system, and that live vocal of his on Dixie is as powerful as anything I've ever heard and pretty much explains everything you'd need to know about where he comes from musically.  Wish all the more I could have seen him here last month at the Old Town School of Folk Music for their fundraiser.  The budget ain't what it used to be, at $250 a pop I had to take a pass. Hoping he's comfortable, at peace and surrounded by family and friends. What a timeless gem.


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.