A Benefit to Save the Barn
Performances by various artists in honor of Levon Helm
The Love for Levon concert was an opportunity to say a rousing farewell and, in the process, raise funds to continue the "Midnight Ramble" series of concerts started by Levon and his band seven years earlier at "The Barn," his famous home studio in Woodstock, New York. One at a time, or in pairs, music royalty took turns in the spotlight, singing songs associated with Levon Helm and The Band. The extravaganza features 27 songs capped by a full group finale of The Weight, one of Levon’s greatest moments. On this magical night, everyone felt the outpouring of love toward Levon.
Dozens of luminaries from rock, soul, and country---artists as diverse as Roger Waters, Mavis Staples, and My Morning Jacket---gathered at the Meadowlands' Izod Center on October 3, 2012, to pay their collective respects in an incredible final tribute to Levon Helm, longtime drummer/singer/mandolin player of The Band, who passed away six months earlier.
A LEGEND: There's a brotherhood and sisterhood among musical lifers---people who picked up the guitar or drumsticks as kids and never put them down. Levon Helm was one of those guys, and throughout a life spent in song, he fostered camaraderie between musicians. Helm stood for many things: authenticity, dignity, respect for history, dedication to musical craft and an old-fashioned Southern gentility that did not always seem to fit the elbow-throwing arena of professional rock 'n' roll. His work with the Band helped redefine the relationship between drummers and singers (Helm, one of the first notable singing drummers, was both) and his austere groove made rock music safe for storytelling. Helm lost his battle with throat cancer in April 2012, leaving the "Midnight Rambles" at his beloved Barn in jeopardy of coming to an end, too.
* Roger Waters teaming with My Morning Jacket on "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and turning in a poignant performance of "Wide River to Cross".
* Dazzling guitar licks from John Mayer on "Tennessee Jed" and "Tears of Rage"
* My Morning Jacket rocking the house on "Ophelia" and "It Makes No Difference"
* Joe Walsh burning through "Up on Cripple Creek" accompanied by Robert Randolph on pedal steel guitar
* Country singer Eric Church doing "A Train Robbery" and the Band's "Get Up Jake"
* A stirring solo by Grace Potter on "I Shall Be Released"
* Moving performances of "Rockin' Chair" and "Chest Fever" from Dierks Bentley
* Warren Haynes blazing through "The Shape I'm In" and rocking the bluesy "Long Black Veil" with former bandmate Gregg Allman
* Lucinda Williams delivering a touching "Whispering Pines"
Total Running Time: 271 minutes.