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Thread: Levon Helm

  1. #1

    Default Levon Helm

    I've been reading Levon Helm's book, This Wheel's On Fire. Been listening to The Band since the early 70s so it's great to read about the early days of The Band through Levon's eyes. I'm only about half way through the book. It's a great read.

    The book has led me to watch a bunch of videos of Levon and The Band. There's lots of videos of him playing the mandolin. Caught this one tonight--captures how much he loved playing music. What a groove.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSzMVKjlFdM

    Feel free to add more Levon videos. If you don't, I probably will.
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  3. #2
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    I added a few in the Newbies group earlier this week. I love that one with him & Sheryl, too. I really dig Levon, also Larry Campbell, Larry stuck by Levon through the later years.

    Have you had a chance to watch I Ain't In It For My Health? On Netflix, or used to be, a really good documentary on Levon. I'll look for that book you mentioned.
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  4. #3
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Levon on drumming & singing, check his ripping into The Battle Is Over at about 1:52:



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdvcIqC1DJw
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  6. #4
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Here's a trailer for Ain't In It For My Health.

    Levon grabs an acoustic guitar and rips into Kingfish on his couch at home, plays and sings In The Pines while playing mandolin for daughter Amy in his kitchen, visits with Billy Bob Thornton at his kitchen table after a Midnight Ramble, works with Larry Campbell to finish lyrics and arrange one of those "unfinished Hank Williams tunes." A lot to hold my interest in that film.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F03oZFq4yqw
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  8. #5
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Here's one where Levon cradles his Gibby on Letterman, plays Rag, Mama Rag with Paul's band.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65s8eB-NQlg

    A little more mandolin-centric Atlantic City



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tadQCafc89M
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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Cool seeing Mr. Sam B. in the background of the first vid clearly enjoying the experience.

  11. #7
    Registered User jdchapman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Levon Helm



    In case you want to remember why you love Sissy too.

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  13. #8

    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Grieser View Post
    I've been reading Levon Helm's book, This Wheel's On Fire. Been listening to The Band since the early 70s so it's great to read about the early days of The Band through Levon's eyes. I'm only about half way through the book. It's a great read.

    The book has led me to watch a bunch of videos of Levon and The Band. There's lots of videos of him playing the mandolin. Caught this one tonight--captures how much he loved playing music. What a groove.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSzMVKjlFdM

    Feel free to add more Levon videos. If you don't, I probably will.
    If you look up groove in the dictionary it simply says "Levon".

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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    What an amazing musician he was.

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  17. #10

    Default Re: Levon Helm

    I got to see them once, a big stadium show with Jesse Colin Young, The Band, Santana, and CSN&Y. What a day of music. As I get older, I appreciate The Band even more and Levon especially.
    Palatable to a Goat: New Music from Gregg Daigle and Don Grieser, now on bandcamp
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  18. #11

    Default Re: Levon Helm

    A little "Ophelia" for a Friday night.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcgxuGiI7wU
    Palatable to a Goat: New Music from Gregg Daigle and Don Grieser, now on bandcamp
    http://HillbillyChamberMusic.bandcamp.com

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  20. #12

    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Dirt Farmer one of the best roots records ever.
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  22. #13
    Natural Born Tar Heel Perilous Deep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Thanks to everyone for all this Levon love. One of my very favorite musicians, and this was a fun excursion into some of the late era performances. I remember seeing the Levon Helm Band earlier the same summer the Ramble at the Ryman performance happened, and they also opened with a high energy version of Ophelia like the one above.

    If you haven't read it before, I'd highly recommend the article Levon Helm Was Perfect, published at the time of his passing, that's about Levon's drumming in particular. Here's a taste:

    "He was a technically monstrous player of unsurpassed versatility, one who could turn challenging music into something that sounded effortless. Other great bands have played difficult material, but on Steely Dan records the music sounds hard, wearing complexity on its sleeve with a sort of punk defiance. The Band's "Jawbone" goes through more meters than Con Edison but sounds utterly natural: The Carter Family at a cookout with mid-'60s Miles Davis, everyone getting along, Levon working the grill."
    "Pick it solid, boys." -Claude Debussy

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  24. #14
    Notary Sojac Paul Kotapish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Got to see Levon and the Band play with Bob Dylan on the '74 tour. Still stands as one of the great shows I've seen.

    It's fun to read Across the Great Divide and This Wheel's on Fire back to back. Very different perspectives on how things played out in that legendary group, and how Robbie Robertson is portrayed in each. I haven't read Robertson's book yet, but it's on my list, and I'm sure he has yet another perspective.

    Can't think of a drummer I'd rather have had a chance to play with than Levon Helm, but that was a dream I never got to fulfill. I did get to open for Amy Helm (his daughter) with Larry Campbell and the Midnight Ramble Band at the Fillmore a year or so back, which was pretty thrilling in itself. She (and Larry) played an F-9 like the one Levon is playing in that clip with Cheryl Crow. Might have been the same one, even. She and the band were gracious as could be, and they put on a great show that channeled a lot of Band material.
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  26. #15
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Happy Traum released a few minutes of raw footage a couple days ago, of an interview with Levon and Larry Campbell. Evidently this was just Happy's way of making a record for his notes on the interview, which went into an article he wrote. I thought I'd post it here for the Levon fans who might find some interest in it.

    Happy wrote this on his YouTube channel:

    This is a portion of a much longer interview I did with Levon Helm and Larry Campbell in 2009, which was the basis for an article I wrote about Levon for Acoustic Guitar Magazine. They had just released Levon's "Electric Dirt" CD, which eventually went on to win a Grammy, and our conversation was all about their musical ideas, deep history and attitude to their work. I'll release the entire interview at a later date. - Happy Traum
    And this in his Facebook post:

    Fans of Levon Helm and Larry Campbell might want to see this excerpt of an interview I did with them in 2009. I sat down with these two old friends in Levon's living room. The camera was simply a way for me to record what they said for the article in Acoustic Guitar Magazine, but in looking at it now I think it's something of a treasure. There's lots more for a later date. Hope you enjoy it.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMD1k7EU-UQ
    Last edited by Mark Gunter; Aug-24-2018 at 4:55pm.
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  28. #16
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    It was interesting to hear these guys discuss Amy Helm and Theresa Williams re: their vocal styles - Amy into soul and R&B and Theresa into country & bluegrass.

    BTW as an aside, the Homespun series by Larry, interpreting the gospel songs of Reverend Gary Davis, is probably the best recent addition to my library for fingerstyle guitar. He goes deep into chord theory in his step-by-step explanations, and is joined by his wife Theresa Williams in performing the tunes. Here's a sample, a minuscule taste (NFI):



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XosDVcRjR48
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  30. #17
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Another great Levon interview, popped up for me today, I've never seen this though it's 10 years old on YouTube. This interview was done right on the heels of the Dirt Farmer album.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cnAfSsk2wc
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  32. #18

    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Thanks for posting the videos, Mark. Great interviews.
    Palatable to a Goat: New Music from Gregg Daigle and Don Grieser, now on bandcamp
    http://HillbillyChamberMusic.bandcamp.com

  33. #19

    Default Re: Levon Helm

    nice version of this with Robbie playin a doubleneck, though I donít hear any mandolin.
    https://youtu.be/TCSzL5-SPHM

  34. #20
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Better drummer than mandolin picker but an ultimate musician to his core.
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  35. #21

    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Interesting tidbit: Libby Titus the songwriter was Helm's partner for a long time, Amy Helm is a product of that union. After Titus and Levon split, Libby eventually married Donald Fagan (Steely Dan) in 1993 and I believe they are still married.

  36. #22
    TBI survivor Richard J's Avatar
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    There's a social group here at the Cafe. The Band Room.
    I think, therefore, I pick.

  37. #23
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Quote Originally Posted by seg View Post
    nice version of this with Robbie playin a doubleneck, though I don’t hear any mandolin.
    https://youtu.be/TCSzL5-SPHM
    That's my favourite version of the song. Robbie bought that guitar from Manny's, apparently.
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    I saw The Band, or what was left of it, at the New Jersey State Fair in Cranbury, NJ ~ 1995. I brought my '24 F-4 to show Levon but could not get past the bodyguard. I called out his name, held up the F-4. He turned, smiled and gave me a thumbs up. Way cool.

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  40. #25
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Levon Helm

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard J View Post
    There's a social group here at the Cafe. The Band Room.
    Thanks for the heads up on this, Richard! https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/g...hp?groupid=220

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    I saw The Band, or what was left of it, at the New Jersey State Fair in Cranbury, NJ ~ 1995. I brought my '24 F-4 to show Levon but could not get past the bodyguard. I called out his name, held up the F-4. He turned, smiled and gave me a thumbs up. Way cool.
    Yeah, very cool, Alan
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