Sunday, August 23, 2009

Levon Helm at the Borgatta

Levon Helm at the Borgatta, with the Black Crows

Levon Helm will return to Atlantic City on top of the world, with top billing at the Borgatta, and as the headliner of his own show, after leaving last time almost dead.

The last time he was in town, Levon played the Bubba Mac Shack at Somers Point, but he was very sick, undergoing treatment for throat cancer, and couldn't sing, though that didn't stop him from playing drums while his daughter and others picked up the vocals.

Now he's back, with his voice miraculously cured, he's singing again, and sang his way to a Grammy with Dirt Farmer last year, and on track for some new material this year.

Opening for Levon and his band will be the Black Crows, the Atlanta, Georgia band that has come and gone in various stages, playing songs that run from basic blues to a heavy dose of Led Zeplin metal.

In their current incantation, they've regrouped at Woodstock, playing and recording in Levon's barn, where Levon also did most of Dirt Farmer, and where he plays to visitors on occasion.

Of course Woodstock is also where Levon and the Hawks went after leaving Tony Marts in Somers Point in August, 1965 and following Dylan, first to Forest Hills and other venues where they were booed by folk purists and changed the future and direction of rock & roll.

When Dylan was involved in a motorcycle accident, he recouperated at the Woodstock home recording studio of his manger, Albert Grossman, leading the Hawks to the same neighborhood, where they settled down at the house they called Big Pink, and began to call themselves The Band.

Now The Band has lost pianist Richard Manuel and bassist Rick Danko, who passed away a few years ago, and while guitarist Robbie Robertson has completed some solo recordings, and organist Garth Hudson has sat in with other people, Levon keeps plugging away, both at home at Woodstock and on the road.

MORE TO COME ON THIS

1 comment:

Bill Kelly said...

Correction: While Levon got Top Billing, he went on first, and opened for the Crows.

Will Report on the show in a separate post. - BK