Levon Helm's early solo albums, made in the 1970s after the Band initially broke up, were hit-and-miss affairs, but his first solo studio release in 25 years represents a rich return to his Southern roots. With co-production and musical support from daughter Amy (of Ollabelle) and multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell (long a mainstay of Bob Dylan's band), Helm gives organic unity and rough-hewn vitality to a selection of Cajun fiddle waltzes, country blues, hardscrabble folk, and some more contemporary material (from the likes of Steve Earle and Buddy and Julie Miller). Following his recovery from throat cancer, Helm's voice has a slightly different timbre, but his phrasing is unmistakable as the same vocalist who sang "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and "Rag Mama Rag." With Amy providing harmony and duet vocals and Levon's drumming evoking his signature work with the Band, Helm takes material from a variety of sources and makes it all his own.
On September 17, 2008, the legendary Levon Helm took his beloved Midnight Ramble on the road to one of America’s treasured venues, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. Accompanied by such luminaries as Buddy Miller, John Hiatt, Sheryl Crow, George Receli, Sam Bush and Billy Bob Thornton, the Levon Helm Band created an unforgettable night of stage magic.
The Levon Helm Band is making more than music in Woodstock, NY nestled in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, they are orchestrating a musical carnival known as The Midnight Ramble. The idea is to recreate, inside Levon Helm Studios, the traveling shows (like F.S. WalcottOs Rabbit Foot Minstrel show) that played in the South where Levon grew up as a boy, embracing the merging musical traditions of the time; blues, gospel, country, rock and roll, bluegrass, rockabilly, soul and jazz. Levon Helm (The Band, R.C.O All-Stars) made a career on stage and screen as a singer, drummer, band leader, writer and actor. He has assembled some of the premiere musicians on the East Coast to take part in the carnival. The room is a unique studio, all wooden (no nails only wooden pegs holding the barnOs towering hemlock beams together) with locally quarried bluestone and the ambiance of a church hall.
Levon Helm's second solo album isn't a bad listen, it just seems, given its pedigree, that it should be a good deal better than it is. Produced by Donald "Duck" Dunn of the legendary Booker T. & the MG's, and featuring Steve Cropper and the Muscle Shoals session crew, this outing ought to cook with some serious funk and soul, and that it only occasionally does so is the big surprise. Helm's Arkansas drawl gives his singing an authentic sounding expressiveness, but somehow nothing here has the easy, natural sounding ring that was the trademark of his best work with the Band.
Love for Levon was a concert that took place on October 3, 2012 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey as a tribute to the late drummer/singer Levon Helm of The Band. The concert featured a wide variety of musicians who had worked with Helm as well as musicians who were influenced by him. Proceeds from the concert went towards keeping Helm's Woodstock barn in his family's control as well as continuing his Midnight Ramble concert series in the barn. The concert's musical directors were Don Was and Levon Helm collaborator Larry Campbell.