– Levon Helm at the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA, North Adams, 6/26/11
By Greg Haymes
Photographs by Matt Mac Haffie
Levon Helm was the Rock of Ages, the stalwart, steady backbeat for the Band. Helm passed away this afternoon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He had long been battling throat cancer. He was 71 years old.
A statement posted on his website this afternoon states simply, “Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon. He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul.”
Drummer. Mandolinist. Actor. Singer. Oh, what a singer…
For years now, Helm was at the helm for regular Midnight Ramble concerts in his home in Woodstock. If you were ever lucky enough to attend one, then you know just how truly special those magnificent shows were. And you marveled at sitting or standing just a couple of yards away from where one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll drummers was plying his trade.
In recent years, Helm’s star rose once again, and he was honored with Grammy Awards for each of his final three albums – 2007’s “Dirt Farmer,” 2009’s “Electric Dirt” and last year’s live “Ramble at the Ryman.”
Farewell, old friend. Ramble on…
SOME OF OUR FAVE LEVON HELM CONCERT REVIEWS:
The Levon Helm Band @ John Gill’s Farm, 10/16/11
Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble, 1/22/11
Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble, 3/20/11
Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble, 10/10/09