Monday, September 29, 2008


It's great to see the late career-acclaim that Levon Helm has been getting in recent years. He'd hit hard times: he was suffering from throat cancer and thought he wouldn't sing again. And he was having financial troubles, and nearly had to literally sell his farm.

Well, he recovered from cancer, and decided to have a blowout party at his barn where he charged admission and played a righteous jam with his friends. Well, that jam turned into an ongoing thing - called "Midnight Rambles" - and ended up raising enough money for him to keep his place. Now his Rambles are big draws, and he even takes his show on the road. I saw a Ramble last year, and was blown away, it was an amazing show. He also put out his first solo album in decades last year - Dirt Farmer - and it was like an instant classic.

Just a few weeks ago, Levon was named Americana Artist of the Year at The Americana Awards in Nashville; the night before, he did a Ramble at the Ryman auditorium, where he was joined by Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Buddy Miller, Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, John Hiatt and Sheryl Crow. It's good to see the man getting his due while he's still here to appreciate it.

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