DVD review: 'Love for Levon'

This is a must-have for fans of Helm, The Band, any or all of these artists, and great music in general.
BY GENE TRIPLETT etriplett@opubco.com Published: March 29, 2013

‘Love for Levon — A Benefit to Save the Barn'

A galaxy of stars came out last Oct. 3 to celebrate the life and music of Levon Helm, former vocalist and drummer of The Band, who died of throat cancer on April 19 at age 71. The event, dubbed “Love for Levon,” was also organized to assist Helm's estate in keeping ownership of his home, barn and studio in Woodstock, N.Y., and continuing the all-star “Midnight Ramble” concerts he held there in the first decade of the 2000s.

The diverse list of artists who turned out to help included Gov't Mule's Warren Haynes (performing “The Shape I'm In”); Haynes and former Allman Brothers bandmate Gregg Allman (“Long Black Veil”); former Jefferson Airplane co-pilot Jorma Kaukonen (“Trouble in Mind”); Mavis Staples with the Levon Helm Band (“Move Along Train”); John Prine and Garth Hudson with the Levon Helm Band and Joan Osborne (“When I Paint My Masterpiece”); Allen Toussaint (“Life is a Carnival”); Lucinda Williams (“Whispering Pines”); John Hiatt (“Rag Mama Rag”); Grace Potter (“I Shall Be Released”); Dierks Bentley (“Rockin' Chair,” “Chest Fever”); Eric Church (“A Train Robbery,” “Get Up Jake”); John Mayer (“Tennessee Jed”); Joe Walsh and Robert Randolph (“Up On Cripple Creek”); My Morning Jacket (“Ophelia,” “It Makes No Difference); Roger Waters and My Morning Jacket (“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”); Roger Waters and G.E. Smith (“Wide River to Cross”); and all performers on “The Weight,” which is magnificent to behold.

All give superb performances worthy of the gifted Arkansan they honor. This is a must-have for fans of Helm, The Band, any or all of these artists, and great music in general.

— Gene Triplett


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