Archive for Levon Helm

Grammy Nominations 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2009 by 30daysout

The 52nd annual Grammy nominations came out last night with one glaring omission. Green Day’s excellent 21st Century Breakdown was not nominated for Album of the Year. How is that possible? While I like the new Dave Matthews Band Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King album, it’s not better than Green Day. The Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. sure as hell isn’t. While I’m sure Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Beyonce have their moments, song for song, there is no way they compare with Green Day.

Bruce Springsteen showed up as a courtesy in a few of categories. Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance and Best Rock Song for “Working On A Dream” and for his “Sea of Heartbreak” duet with Rosanne Cash, but his Working On A Dream album was a no-show. Producer Brendan O’Brien, however, is up for Producer of the Year. U2’s weak No Line On The Horizon LP also appeared in couple of categories, but was shut out of the major ones. Steve Earle’s excellent Townes showed up in the Best Comtemporary Folk Album along with Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone and Elvis Costello’s  Secret, Profane and Sugar Cane (I love Costello, but this is a joke). Wilco, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams and Levon Helm were also nominated for “Best Americana Album.”

Some pleasant surprises (besides the Americana category) include Adele’s nomination for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance for “Hometown Glory,” Willie Nelson’s American Classic nominated for Best Traditional Vocal Performance, AC/DC’s Black Ice up for Best Rock Album and Megadeth’s Head Crusher being recognized in the “Best Metal Performance.”

The show airs on CBS Sunday, Jan. 31. Maybe Kanye West will steal someone’s thunder again. Maybe Lady Gaga will poor blood on herself again, or maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to see Wilco, Steve Earle, Springsteen/Cash or AC/DC play live. We can only hope.

2009 Grammy Nominations

Woodstock Update

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on August 11, 2009 by 30daysout

wsdailynews

UPDATE: We’re taking a few days off while we travel to Bethel for the big Woodstock event August 15.  We hope to post a report early Sunday – come back then, or while away the time with some of these reposts.

Nobody is going to be caught short this time around – the 40th anniversary of Woodstock offers plenty of opportunity for promoters and performers to make a few bucks.  Which I guess is only fair, because many of them took a bath in 1969.  Michael Lang, one of the festival’s promoters, has a new book The Road To Woodstock which he’s been promoting.  In one interview, he recalled that the festival wasn’t known only as “Woodstock Music and Art Fair” at first – it was “An Aquarian Exposition.”  Woodstock, New York (about 50 miles to the northeast of where the festival was actually staged), was founded as an art colony in the early 1900s, and today it’s still home to musicians, writers and artists.  The “Aquarian Festival” was supposed to be in the real Woodstock, but they wound up moving it at the last minute to White Lake near Bethel.  You can see more about The Road To Woodstock here.

Lang’s plans for a Woodstock anniversary event in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park have been cancelled.  He originally envisioned an “official” Woodstock 40th anniversary in New York City, in September.  But all plans for that have been dropped, because of a lack of investors.

handbill

Although he’s the headliner at the Woodstock 40th anniversary on the original grounds (August 15 at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts), Levon Helm apparently won’t sing.  A note on his website says: “Due to his rigorous performance schedule, coupled with dozens of interviews with the press & media, Levon has overtaxed his voice.  He’s been advised by professionals to be on vocal rest for the next several weeks.  Levon will play drums and mandolin at all shows, but the vocal duties will be handled by the members of his band including his daughter, Amy Helm, Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Brian Mitchell and, when in town, Jimmy Vivino (from the Tonight Show band).”  That’s a drag.

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Reviews: Down-Home Music

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on June 30, 2009 by 30daysout

Cover edit              Cover

Ever have one of those days when you’re tired of rock and roll?  Maybe the day you took that Chickenfoot CD home, listened and said “eh.”  It might be time to get back to yer roots, boy. 

Levon Helm has released his second album since beating throat cancer, and Electric Dirt couldn’t be a more appropriate title.  This sequel to his acclaimed Dirt Farmer album is more, ah, electric, with joyous covers of blues and gospel and a detour through the Louisiana swamplands.  Kicking off with a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Tennessee Jed,” the album’s first half recreates some of Farmer‘s Appalachian feel, with a highlight coming in the earthy “Growing Trade,” a sad tale about the American farmer.  But with the Allen Toussaint-arranged “Kingfish” (a Randy Newman song about the infamous Huey P. Long), Helm steers into the same territory covered by the Band in their heyday.  Unlike Elvis Costello’s current dead-on-arrival roots exercise, Electric Dirt is the real deal.

MP3: “When I Go Away” by Levon Helm

Son Volt is one of the bands that rose from the ashes of Americana darlings Uncle Tupelo, and their newest, American Central Dust plows the same rich earth as Levon’s Americana.  And with the gently loping “Roll On” or the safely rockin’ “Jukebox Of Steel,” Son Volt doesn’t stray far from their strengths.  You can always bet frontman Jay Farrar will crank out a few gems per album, and he doesn’t disappoint: “Dust Of Daylight” and the aforementioned titles are worth hitting the repeat button for.

MP3: “Roll On” by Son Volt

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All My (Birthday) Parties

Posted in News with tags , , , on May 29, 2009 by 30daysout

Levon Helm       hank-jr-eagle

Some recent birthdays for rock and rollers gives us a chance to post a handful of tunes for the weekend.  Stevie Nicks, born May 26, is 61 years old; Levon Helm, also May 26, is 67; Hank Williams Jr. (Bocephus), also May 26, is 60; and the great John Fogerty, born May 28, is 64. 

MP3: “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” by Hank Williams Jr.

MP3: “Stoned At The Jukebox” by Hank Williams Jr.

MP3: “White Dove” by Levon Helm

MP3: “Havana Moon” by Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars

MP3: “If Anyone Falls” by Stevie Nicks

MP3: “Stand Back” (Eli Escobar disco mix) by Stevie Nicks

MP3: “Almost Saturday Night” by John Fogerty

MP3: “Centerfield”  (live) by John Fogerty w/Jerry Garcia

YouTube: Levon Helm making his new album Electric Dirt (out June 30)

Woodstock Veterans To Appear at 40th Anniversary

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on May 5, 2009 by 30daysout

bethel-woods
Well, they’re calling it “Heroes Of Woodstock,” or the “Bethel Woods Music Festival” – it depends on where you look.  But on Saturday, August 15, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in upstate New York will host a music festival on the grounds of the original 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Festival.

The performers listed include the Levon Helm Band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Mountain (with Leslie West and Corky Laing), and Country Joe McDonald.  They’re not going to have it in a wild, open field – this festival will be in the lavish Bethel Woods Center for the Arts amphitheatre built on a hill overlooking the original Woodstock site, a dairy farm that hosted 400,000 people on August 15-17, 1969.

And of course, it won’t be “free,” as Woodstock was for its final day in 1969.  Top tickets are $69 (get it?), there’s a $40 seat and lawn tickets on the grass are, of course, $19.69.  There is also a full museum on the site dedicated to the Woodstock festival and the era, and I’ve read that it’s pretty good. 

Bethel Center For The Arts official website

Woodstock.com

MP3: “The Weight” by the Band (live at Woodstock)

MP3: “Somebody To Love” by the Jefferson Airplane (live at Woodstock)

MP3: “Southbound Train” by Mountain (live at Woodstock)

MP3: “Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)” by Janis Joplin (live at Woodstock)

Halloween Pot Luck

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2008 by 30daysout

OK, we have a bunch of random stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere so we’ll just throw it up … For your Halloween weekend enjoyment.  Some rough language here; discretion advised. 

MP3: “The Grand Ole Opry (Ain’t So Grand Any More)” by Hank Williams III

MP3: “Woke Up This Morning/Why Do Men Fight?” (live) by Carbon/Silicon with Alabama 3

MP3: “Dalmation” by Nils Lofgren

MP3: “What’s Victoria’s Secret?” by Rick Springfield

MP3: “I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me)” by Mick Hucknall

MP3: “Can Your Grandpa Rock and Roll Like This?” by Albert Lee

MP3: “You Better Move On” by the Levon Helm Band

MP3: “It’s A Long Way To The Top” by Lucinda Williams

Review: “Imus Ranch Record,” Various Artists

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2008 by 30daysout

No matter what you think about radio talk show host Don Imus (I happen to like him and listen to him daily) there is one thing you can’t deny…the guy does alot for kids with cancer and their families. He and his wife, Deidre, run the Imus Ranch in New Mexico, a working cattle ranch where kids with cancer can work with animals and get away from their illness for a little while. He has raised millions of dollars for the ranch in a number of different ways throughout the years and his latest fund-raising effort is the Imus Ranch Record.

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Lost Classics! Bobby Charles

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , on June 12, 2008 by 30daysout

Last year, the New Orleans Times Picayune called Bobby Charles a “lost legend.”  That is perhaps the only way to describe Robert “Bobby” Charles Guidry, a coonass who came out of Louisiana in the 1950s and became one of the first important songwriters of the rock and roll era.  Bobby Charles, as he became known, was a recording artist for Chicago blues/R&B label Chess Records but he made his impact as a songwriter: “See You Later Alligator” for Bill Haley & the Comets; “Walking To New Orleans,” one of Fats Domino’s greatest hits; and “(I Don’t Know Why I Love You) But I Do,” for Clarence “Frogman” Henry.

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