Cross-posted from Bob From Brockley.
Levon Helm, one of my favourite musicians, has died.
My padrino gave me the wonderful triple album of The Band’s Last Waltz when I was in my mid-teens, and it totally transformed the way I listened to and understood music. I don’t think there are many albums I listened to more than that one.
Levon Helm played drums and mandolin, and sings some of the songs. I never realised he had a low opinion of the concert, but more really of the Martin Scorsese film of it, which I’ve never actually seen.
Levon Helm was born in Arkansas, grew up in a town called Turkey Scratch, and was apparently inspired to music by the mandolin god Bill Monroe who he saw at age six. (Here‘s Monroe that year: you can hear the connection.)
I think “Jemima Surrender” is the only major Band song he wrote, but he sang the most well-loved ones, including “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down”. Here’s a couple of his tracks, the second from his brilliant last album Electric Dirt.