Levon Helm

Since its inception as the location of the intimately legendary Midnight Rambles, Levon Helm Studios, named of course after its namesake owner, has been a bucket list spot for artists to play. As such, the Woodstock, NY home has seen many awesome bands come through to make pilgrimages and performances. 2021 alone has seen a stellar lineup of artists play here, like Iron and Wine, Umphrey’s McGee, Midnight North, Jorma Kaukonen, and many more.

When an artist takes on their chosen medium, they don't know how long it will take to complete their art, for there is a process. It took Michelangelo four years to paint the Sistine Chapel and 16 years for Ernest Hemingway to write his masterpiece, The Old Man And The Sea. Led Zeppelin only took 30 hours to record their breakthrough album, Led Zeppelin I - great art knows no concept of time, and sometimes, neither does the artist.

Amy Helm’s silken voice weaves together her third solo album, What the Flood Leaves Behind. The lyrics reflect pain, truth, and beauty and asks questions that don’t always have an answer. Recorded at Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY, What the Flood Leaves Behind is a shining example of Amy’s spirit of collaboration.

By the time The Band was ready to record their third album, Stage Fright, in 1970, they were riding high from having released back-to-back albums that solidified them as one of the most exciting and revolutionary groups of the late 1960s.

Beyond the Thunderdome, if you weren’t Cheech & Chong'ing your way to the movie theatre to see Stripes, chances are good, you would have wanted to check out what TUT’s Chicago had playing in 1981. Among the 3.3 million businesses shut down due to COVID-19 and the staggering rate of loss for clubs & live music entertainment, we remember TUT'S Nightclub: 1979-1984. 

The 2019 Dirt Farmer Festival will be held at the Arrowood Farm Brewery in Accord, NY on Friday & Saturday, September 6th and 7th. Dirt Farmer is one of the premier festivals in the Hudson Valley and is chock full of talent. The performers include Amy Helm, The Midnight Ramble Band, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Steve Earle, Phil & Grahame Lesh, Mercury Rev, Anders Osborne, Jimmy Vivino, The Lower 911 and a special tribute to Dr. John and many others.

Grateful Web recently had a humbling opportunity to speak with Amy Helm, mandolinist, singer/songwriter, and bandleader of The Handsome Strangers. She also cofounded Midnight Ramble Band, whose roots began with her father the late and great Levon Helm, an Arkansan who met a gifted group of Canadian musicians and inevitably formed The Band in 1964.

As Tim O’Brien and Friends kicked off the final set of RockyGrass 2012, I planted my feet a couple of yards behind the elevated stage. The canopy of treetops overhead, awash in color from the stage lights, absorbed a light drizzle. To my right, the deity of all double bassists, Edgar Meyer, calmly warmed up next to the main stage staircase.

Today the music world suffered a bittersweet loss. Levon Helm’s battle with cancer ended this afternoon after a long tough fight. A message was posted on his website written by his wife Sandy and his daughter Amy requesting everyone’s “love and prayers” earlier in the week. Levon has been battling with throat cancer since 1998. Levon Helm was the beloved  drummer and vocalist for The Band.

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