Post Tagged with: "Levon Helm"

Rick Danko + Levon Helm, “Once Upon a Time” from Rick Danko (1977): Across the Great Divide

Rick Danko + Levon Helm, “Once Upon a Time” from Rick Danko (1977): Across the Great Divide

Rick Danko was the first to start a solo career, but this involving duet with his former Band mate Levon Helm shows a sense of community remained.

The Last Waltz was nearly derailed, time and again: ‘It was like throwing the dice’

The Last Waltz was nearly derailed, time and again: ‘It was like throwing the dice’

‘The Last Waltz,’ released as a triple album on April 7, 1978, chronicled a guest-packed Band concert that overcame one complication after another.

Levon Helm, “Dance Me Down Easy” from American Son (1980): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “Dance Me Down Easy” from American Son (1980): Across the Great Divide

This is a setting, like the measured context of the Band’s early work, that perfectly suits – even as it amplifies – Levon Helm’s voice.

Levon Helm, “Feelin’ Good” from Dirt Farmer (2007): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “Feelin’ Good” from Dirt Farmer (2007): Across the Great Divide

After a series of solo records that tended toward blues- and R&B-soaked fun, Levon Helm’s ‘Dirt Farmer’ goes deeper, experiences more.

Levon Helm, “Blues So Bad” from Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (1977): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “Blues So Bad” from Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (1977): Across the Great Divide

Left to his own devices after the dissolution of the Band, Levon Helm returned to the things that had been his strengths, his succor, and his joy.

The Band, “Back to Memphis” from Moondog Matinee (1973): Across the Great Divide

The Band, “Back to Memphis” from Moondog Matinee (1973): Across the Great Divide

The Band simply stole “Back to Memphis” from Chuck Berry, who tended to wink his way through it. Levon Helm, however, found something darker.

The Band, “(I Don’t Want To) Hang Up My Rock ‘n’ Roll Shoes” (1971): Across the Great Divide

The Band, “(I Don’t Want To) Hang Up My Rock ‘n’ Roll Shoes” (1971): Across the Great Divide

This old Chuck Willis tune, forgotten in the wake of his early death, gave the Band a chance to let loose — and let loose they most certainly did.

Levon Helm, “Even a Fool Would Let Go” from Levon Helm (1982): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “Even a Fool Would Let Go” from Levon Helm (1982): Across the Great Divide

A journeyman country tune makes the case all over again for Levon Helm’s tender, heart-openingly emotional side.

Levon Helm, Bob Dylan remain unlikely heroes of The Last Waltz: Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, Bob Dylan remain unlikely heroes of The Last Waltz: Across the Great Divide

Neither seemed all that interested in ‘The Last Waltz.’ But their performances are the heart and soul of the film.

Levon Helm, “False Hearted Lover Blues” from Dirt Farmer (2007): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “False Hearted Lover Blues” from Dirt Farmer (2007): Across the Great Divide

When Levon Helm decided to return to the Americana roots that had for so long nourished his career, he did it his way.