Friday, August 24, 2012

"Love for Levon" Concert - October 3, 2012 - Izod Center

Levon backstage at the Bubba Mac Shack in Somers Point with Tony Marts T-shirt 

Levon Helm Tribute Is Planned for October

Richard Drew/Associated Press

John Mayer, Gregg Allman, Joe Walsh and other prominent musicians plan to hold a large benefit concert to raise money for Levon Helm’s estate on Oct. 3 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., Mr. Helm’s family announced.

Proceeds from the “Love for Levon” concert will go to help his family retain ownership of his home and his famous studio, a converted barn in Woodstock, N.Y. Some of the money will also be used to continue the Midnight Rambles, performances Mr. Helm used to host periodically at the studio, attracting some of the most talented rock and folk musicians in the country, the family said.

“We want to continue to honor his legacy by creating a musical landmark at the barn, one that inspires and celebrates Americana music and its heritage,” Mr. Helm’s wife and daughter said in a statement.

Mr. Helm, who was best known as the drummer and a singer for the Band, died of throat cancer earlier this year at 71. The lineup for the benefit features artists from several genres, reflecting the broad influence Mr. Helms had on American pop music. Among others, the list includes Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Lucinda Williams, Don Was, Patty Griffin, Bruce Hornsby and Mavis Staples.

A version of this article appeared in print on 08/24/2012, on page C2 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Concert Tribute to Levon Helm.

New Song to Benefit Amnesty International

One of the last musical projects Levon Helm participated in at his rustic studio in Woodstock, N.Y., was “Toast to Freedom,” a heart-warming single that will go on sale Wednesday to raise money for Amnesty International on its 50th anniversary.

Mr. Helm, the former drummer with The Band who died recently, not only played on the track, but he also encouraged his friends in Woodstock, among them the singer Donald Fagen and the producer Bob Clearmountain, to get involved.  The instrumental tracks and some vocals were recorded in Mr. Helm’s studio, known as the Barn in May 2011, a process recorded in a making-of video.  “Now to be a part of this is going to be a chance for myself, and all of us, all the players, to finally contribute,” Mr. Helm said on the film.

The song was the brainchild of Carl Carlton, a German guitarist and producer who had been recording an album with his band, the Songdogs, in Mr. Helm’s studio earlier that spring.  Mr. Carlton said he was moved by images of a protester in Tunisia who set himself on fire to protest police corruption, setting in motion the uprisings known as the Arab Spring.

A longtime supporter of Amnesty International, Mr. Carlton decided to produce a song that would not only raise money for the human rights group, but also say something about how precious political freedom is.  “Sometimes as musicians we feel so helpless,” he said in an interview.  “All you can do is write some words and music.”

After meeting with Amnesty officials in Dublin to present the idea, Mr. Carlton teamed up with Larry Campbell, a multi-instrumentalist in Mr. Helm’s circle, to write the tune. 

They met in New York and spent a week working together at the Chelsea Hotel (he stayed in Arthur Miller’s old room). “It was the hardest thing I ever had to write about,” he said. “It’s so hard not to become superficial.”

Five days later, he came up with lyrics that personified freedom as a woman, “the mother of everything,” as he put it, and sounds like an anthemic love song.  Amnesty officials were delighted with the song, and when he played the demo for Mr. Helm in Woodstock a few days he got the thumbs up and permission to use the studio.

Once the basic tracks were laid down, Mr. Carlton and Jochen Wilms, a music executive who co-produced the track, set about persuading musicians to add their vocals to the record.   Over several months, Mr. Carlton traveled around Europe, the Middle East and the United States, collecting collaborators.   Among the 50 musicians who are on the final recording are Kris Kristofferson, Carly Simon,  Keb Mo,  Eric Burden, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithful, Angelique Kidjo, Rosanne Cash and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

“I hope, of course, that it makes a lot of money for Amnesty, but at the same time it creates awareness,” said Mr. Carlton. “The good thing is for once in my life I feel like Levon Helm. I didn’t make a compromise.”

The track goes on sale on Wednesday afternoon for $1.29 at digital sites like Amazon and iTunes.

April 20, 201212:10 PM 7 Comments
Dylan Fondly Recalls Levon Helm

Bob Dylan called his former collaborator Levon Helm “one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation” in a note he posted online. Mr. Helm, former drummer and vocalist with the Band, which backed up Mr. Dylan in the 1960s, died of complications of cancer on Thursday at age 71.

Of Mr. Helm, Mr. Dylan wrote: “He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation. This is just so sad to talk about. I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him. We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I’m going to miss him, as I’m sure a whole lot of others will too.”

Just before Mr. Helm’s death, Robbie Robertson, the Band’s guitarist, visited him in a Manhattan hospital. The two had started playing together in Canada as members of Ronnie Hawkins’s band; the Band became Mr. Dylan’s electrified back-up group before putting out their own albums.

But Mr. Robertson and Mr. Helm had not played together since the Band’s Last Waltz concert in 1976, when the group broke up with a fair bit of acrimony.  Shortly after he saw Mr. Helm in the hospital, on April 8, Rolling Stone reported, Mr. Robertson issued a statement that included this tribute:  “Levon is one of the most extraordinary talented people I’ve ever known and very much like an older brother to me.  I am so grateful I got to see him one last time and will miss him and love him forever.”

This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: April 24, 2012
Because of an editing error, a report in the “Arts, Briefly” column on Saturday about Bob Dylan’s recollections of collaborating with Levon Helm, the drummer and singer who died last week at 71, erroneously included Mr. Helm among the musicians pictured at a 1974 performance. Another drummer, who was not identified, was shown with the group; Mr. Helm was not pictured.

August 10, 201210:07 AM 3 Comments
Dylan to Open at Refurbished Capitol Theater

David Vincent/Associated PressBob Dylan

Bob Dylan will play the first concert at the an ambitious and eclectic slate of shows Mr. Shapiro has lined up for the fall, including concerts by the Roots, Fiona Apple and My Morning Jacket. Mr. Dylan is touring this fall to promote his new album “Tempest.” The album, his 35th studio effort, will be released on Sept. 11. Tickets for the concert will go on sale on Aug.17, but Mr. Dylan has reserved a block of tickets that will be sold to members of his fan club four days earlier, on Aug. 13.

New Dylan Album, ‘Tempest,’ Set for September
Bob DylanColumbia Records The cover of the new Bob Dylan album, “Tempest.”

In one of his best-known speeches from “The Tempest” the sorcerer Prospero declares that his “rough magic” he will “here abjure,” and when some “heavenly music” is next required, he will break his staff, “Bury it certain fathoms in the earth / And deeper than did ever plummet sound / I’ll drown my book.”

Four centuries after Shakespeare wrote those words, another popular bard namedBob Dylan has decided it’s once again time to make some new music of his own, and while he hasn’t vowed to break his guitar and bury it, some of his fans are wondering if he too is preparing to cast his last spell.

On Tuesday, Mr. Dylan announced that he would put out a new album, called “Tempest,” on Sept. 11. The album, to be released by his longtime label, Columbia Records, will be the 35th studio album of his career,  and his first of original work since “Together Through Life” in 2009. It is to arrive on the 50th anniversary of the day that Mr. Dylan’s self-titled debut album was put on sale.

As The Guardian notes, some Dylanologists at the fan site are wondering if there is deeper significance in the numerology or the similarity in title to “The Tempest,” which is widely believed to be the last play Shakespeare wrote alone. (“Gulp !! … let’s hope that doesn’t mean what we think it does!” wrote a commenter named Queen Anne Lace.)

To those pessimists, we say that Shakespeare did go on to collaborate on “Henry VIII” and “The Two Noble Kinsmen,” to say nothing of his lost plays and apocryphal works. So, chin up.

John Mayer is set to headline a tribute gig in honor of late The Band star Levon Helm.

The veteran rocker lost his battle with cancer in April and he will be remembered at a star-studded charity show in New Jersey in October. Mayer has signed up to lead the concert, along with Gregg Allman and country star Dierks Bentley.

The Love For Levon show will be held at the Izod Center in East Rutherford and will also feature performances from Ray LaMontagneEric Church and Patty Griffin, and proceeds from the gig will go to support Helm's studio complex and keep his Midnight Ramble Session shows going.

A joint statement from Levon's wife, Sandy, and daughter, Amy, reads, "We are deeply moved that so many musicians and friends of Levon's are coming together to celebrate his life and his music, and to help us keep his musical spirit and vision alive in the Midnight Rambles. We want to continue to honor his legacy by creating a musical landmark at the Barn (Helm's studio complex), one that inspires and celebrates Americana music and its heritage."

Show producer Keith Wortman adds, "We are honored to produce a benefit concert that pays tribute to a musical icon and a beautiful soul. Levon's friends and fans will be coming from all over the world to be part of music history for such a noble and worthy cause to Save The Barn, and ensure that the legacy of Levon Helm will live on for generations to come."

The concert will take place on October 3rd.

Posted in music | tour dates on August 23, 2012
My Morning Jacket at Williamsburg Park - 8/19/12 (more by David Andrako)

A cavalcade of music talent is coming out to pay tribute to The Band's late, great Levon Helm (who lost his battle with cancer in April) at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ on October 3. Performers include John Mayer, My Morning Jacket, Ray LaMontagne, Eric Church, Gregg Allman, Dierks Bentley, Marc Cohn, Patty Griffin, Warren Haynes, John Hiatt, Bruce Hornsby, Jorma Kaukonen, The Levon Helm Band, Robert Randolph, Mavis Staples, Joe Walsh, Lucinda Williams and "More Legendary Surprise Guests" to appear as well.

Tickets for the show go on sale Wednesday, August 29 at 11 AM, with a Citicard presale starting Friday, August 24 at 10 AM. There will also be a Live Nation presale on August 29 at 10 AM.

All net proceeds from the concert will help support "the lasting legacy of Levon Helm by helping his estate keep ownership of his home, barn and studio, and to continue The Midnight Ramble Sessions."

Entertainment Weekly reported that John Mayer, Dierks Bentley and Gregg Allman have all agreed to perform at Levon Helm’s benefit concert.

After losing a battle to throat cancer earlier this year, the iconic drummer and singer for The Band will be remembered in the “Love for Levon” concert. Performers include: My Morning Jacket, Ray LaMontagne, Eric Church, Patty Griffin, Bruce Hornsby, Mavis Staples and Joe Walsh.

The concert will take place Oct. 3 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford N.J. Tickets will go on sale Aug. 29. All the proceeds will go to support Midnight Ramble concerts.

For more information about the “Love for Levon" concert click here..

John Mayer, Dierks Bentley to play Levon Helm benefit concert

John Mayer, Gregg Allman, Dierks Bentley and several other musicians are getting together to pay tribute to the late Levon Helm.

The “Love for Levon” benefit concert will be held Oct. 3 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. It will include performances from such artists as My Morning Jacket, Ray LaMontagne, Eric Church, Patty Griffin, Bruce Hornsby, Mavis Staples, and Joe Walsh.

The influential Grammy-winning singer and drummer for The Band died of throat cancer earlier this year at age 71.

Tickets go on sale to the public Aug. 29. Proceeds from the concert will support Levon’s estate and his Midnight Ramble concerts

Don Was and Larry Campbell will serve as co-musical directors.

Other performers will include Warren Haynes, John Hiatt, Lucinda Williams, and Marc Cohn.

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