I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin’ about half past dead
I just need some place, where I can lay my head
Hey Mister, can ya tell me where a man might find a bed?
He just grinned and shook my hand, “No” was all he said
Opening lines from "The Weight"
From the first time I ever heard his voice, I fell in love with the sound of Levon Helm. There was just something about it that was pure and heartfelt. It seemed to reach into my soul and take me to places that no budding teenager in those god awful early days of disco ever thought he could go.
While Levon left us on April 19, 2012, his music and his legacy still live on. A concert called “Love for Levon” was held on October 3, 2012 in his honor. It included many musicians who had worked with him or somehow influenced them throughout the years and proceeds raised by the concert went to preserving his barn in Woodstock. That barn would later become the home of a series of small concerts known as the Midnight Ramble. A CD and DVD will be released in March of 2013 with footage of the concert.
The house band included many regulars to Levon’s barn but there was also a bunch of guests who decided to take the stage. Here’s list of performers and bands who showed up to pay their respects and tributes to Mr. Helm.
My Morning Jacket
Jai Johanny Johanson
One noticeable exception from the list would be Robbie Robertson, Levon’s fellow member of The Band. If I had to speculate, it seems their ongoing feud while they were still alive continues beyond the grave.
Here’s the set list (in order) that they performed during the show and all of the tunes with the exception of one (Love for Levon) were either performed by The Band themselves or on Levon’s solo efforts. It also includes the artist who was featured during the performance.
The Shape I’m In – Warren Haynes
Long Black Veil – Gregg Allman and Warren Haynes
Trouble in Mind – Jorma Kaukonen and Barry Mitterhoff
This Wheel’s on Fire
Little Birds – Garth Hudson
Listening to Levon – Marc Cohn – it’s the one not by The Band or Levon
Move Along Train – Mavis Staples
Life is a Carnival – Allen Toussaint and Jai Johanny Johanson
When I Paint My Masterpiece - Garth Hudson and John Prine
Anna Lee – Bruce Hornsby
Ain’t Got No Home – Jakob Dylan
Whispering Pines – Lucinda Williams
Rag Mama Rag – John Hiatt
Don’t Do It – David Bromberg and Joan Osborne
Tears of Rage – John Mayer and Ray LaMontagne
Rockin’ Chair – Dierks Bentley, Jon Randall and Jessi Aliexander
Chest Fever – Garth Hudson, Dierks Bentley, Jon Randall and Jessi Aliexander
A Train Robbery – Eric Church
Get Up Jake – Eric Church
Tennessee Jed – John Mayer
Up on Cripple Creek – Joe Walsh and Robert Randolph
Ophelia – My Morning Jacket
It Makes No Difference – My Morning Jacket
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - Roger Waters and My Morning Jacket
Wide River to Cross – Roger Waters
The Weight - Everybody
Somewhere, his former band mates Rick Danko and Richard Manuel who preceded him in death, are smiling.
I haven’t bought a new CD or DVD in quite awhile. That’s probably gonna change when this one comes out. I urge you to do the same.