Rest in Peace Levon Helm (1940-2012)
Rolling Stone has reported that Levon Helm, singer and drummer for the Band, has died after a long battle with throat cancer. He was 71.
I saw Levon perform just once, which was possibly one of the most memorable live performance experiences of my career. He was joined by Jim Lauderdale, Rosanne Cash, Benmont Tench, and the Civil Wars for a rendition of “The Weight”. It was a small recording studio uptown in Manhattan last year, as the Americana Music Association was announcing the nominees for its annual awards show. Even then – just one year before his death – Levon’s voice was pure and clear, provocative and powerful. It was a voice few could forget. You can see video of that below.
Levon was more than just a drummer, of course. He played a number of instruments with countless artists over the past several decades. I would love to hear more stories of times when you saw Levon take the stage through the years – whether during his Ryman shows or some other time.
A note from Vanguard Records states:
Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon. He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul.
Rest in peace, Levon, truly one of the greats.