Thursday, April 19, 2012

Remembering Levon Helm, Legendary Drummer With The Band

Levon Helm, legendary drummer and singer, passed away today at 71. Helm was the one American among the Canadians who made up The Band, known for its American roots music. After The Band broke up, he played more roots-oriented music at the "Midnight Ramble" concerts at his studio in Woodstock, NY, and eventually on tour. Above, Helm performed a Band tune, "Ophelia," composed by Robbie Robertson, with the Ramble at the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville. Regarding his vocals, the New York Times, in an obituary and fine career assessment, explained, "...particularly when [The Band's] lyrics turned to myths and tall tales of the American South — like “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Ophelia” and “Rag Mama Rag” — the lead went to Mr. Helm, with his Arkansas twang and a voice that could sound desperate, ornery and amused at the same time." Helm's exuberant performance exemplifies his statement, “If it doesn’t come from your heart, music just doesn’t work.”


Michael The Molar Maven said...

Although Robbie Robertson was the main song writer of The Band, for me, Levon Helm was it's most identifiable member. It's hard to believe that three-fifths of The Band are no longer with us.

Jeff Tone said...

That is hard to believe, just as it's hard to believe that half of The Beatles are gone.