Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams have announced their long-awaited new album, Live At Levon's!, will be released February 3, 2023 via Royal Potato Family. The jubilant 12-track collection was recorded at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY on September 20 and 21, 2019 in front of an adoring hometown crowd and features a selection of previously unreleased new songs, old favorites that allow the band to stretch out plus a handful of unexpected covers. Today, the celebrated husband and wife duo share the album's first single "Angel Of Darkness" (listen/share) a song co-written by Campbell and Hot Tuna's Jorma Kaukonen. A pre-order for Live At Levon's! on 180-gram, double-vinyl, CD and digital formats is available here.
In 2019, after a year of touring, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams returned to their adopted hometown in Woodstock, NY to celebrate with a performance at Levon Helm Studios, a historic and dual-purposed recording studio and live music venue founded by the legendary Levon Helm. It's a space with which the duo were intimately familiar and at ease in having played countless shows there with the Midnight Ramble Band, an outfit fronted by Helm with whom Campbell served as a bandleader for over a decade. Joining Campbell and Williams are some longtime friends and stellar musicians: Jesse Murphy—a gifted improviser who also provides a rock-solid foundation—appears on bass, tuba and harmony vocals. Justin Guip has held the drummer’s chair with Campbell and Williams since their earliest shows and has recorded and mixed all their albums since their self-titled debut. Special guest, Levon Helm alumnus, Brian Mitchell rounds out the group on keyboards, accordion and harmonica.
Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams and their band have a reputation for a high level of musicality that's in full display on Live at Levon's! with warmth, joy and spontaneity jumping out of the album's grooves. No matter which genre they're swimming in, this band knows how to rock, swing and shred while always serving the song first. Campbell, a world class guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, has revealed himself as a songwriting force, while Williams' vocal performances offer up her trademark fragility and ferocity, as she interprets each lyric with emotional nuance and raw honesty.
"This thing that Teresa and I do, though born on the back porch in Tennessee, was honed for public consumption during the wonderful years we spent making music in Levon's barn," explains Campbell. "There's magic between those wooden walls, a comfortable environment where there's no distance between performer and audience. Any event in there is a complete communal experience where there's no hierarchy, no pressure or attempt at inhibition, just a great place to enjoy all the benefits of music making. When the idea came up for us to do a live record there was no question as to what the venue should be."
"I’ll never forget the first time I experienced performing as a child and knew my lot in life was set. The only reason I am a singer is because of the indefinable spark that happens with the giving and receiving of your most intimate selves, back and forth, between the artist on stage and the audience there in the room," adds Williams. "If I can’t see the audience because of lighting, it almost becomes even more spiritual, because it's all just feeling them—us together in the moment. And each performance/audience has its own personality. If you can drop the thinking and just 'be' with them and this sharing of your most intimate selves, there's no describing the transcendence."
The recording captured that night and its subsequent album release to follow was intended to be the cornerstone for big plans that had been made for the following year. The pandemic of course changed everything, globally and close to home. After performing at New York City's Beacon Theatre, Campbell woke up on March 16, 2020 in Woodstock coughing and feverish. Following a diagnosis of Covid, he was left to quarantine alone while Williams was stuck quarantined and worrying in New York City. A couple of harrowing weeks later, Larry's fever broke. "For the past two weeks, I’ve been struggling to stay alive," Campbell told Rolling Stone at the time.
Fast forward to Autumn 2022. Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams are once again performing 'live and in person' and the plans for 2020 have been reimagined for 2023. They'll tour extensively next year to support Live at Levon's!, which serves as a welcome reminder of the duo's powerful live shows.
In Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams' Amazon series It Was the Music, when asked about performing onstage, R&B legend William Bell reflects: "When they come to see a show, take 'em to another place." Live at Levon's! does just that, and Campbell and Williams hope that you enjoy the journey.
Live At Levon's!
1. Let Us Get Together
2. Surrender To Love
3. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
4. Angel Of Darkness
5. Darling Be Home Soon
6. I Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow
9. When I Stop Loving You
10. Old Dangerfield
11. Big River
12. It Ain’t Gonna Be A Good Night
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
11/11 - Northampton, MA - The Parlor Room
11/12 - Plymouth, MA - Spire Center for the Performing Arts
11/13 - Portland, ME - One Longfellow Square
11/17 - Old Saybrook, CT - The Kate: Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
11/18 - Tarrytown, NY - Tarrytown Music Hall
11/19 - Poughkeepsie, NY - Bardavon 1869 Opera House
2/2 - Easton, MD - Avalon Theatre - Stoltz Listening Room
2/3 - Richmond, VA - Richmond Music Hall
2/4 - Johnson City, TN - Down Home
2/5 - Decatur, GA - Eddie's Attic
2/7 - Jacksonville Beach, FL - Blue Jay Listening Room
2/8 - Tampa, FL - The Attic
2/10-17 - Miami, FL - Cayamo Cruise on Norwegian "Pearl"
4/22 - Woodstock, NY - Levon Helm Studios