Review by Janet Kwiatkowski
Pre-performance backstage photographs by Jennifer Starr
An all-star line-up of artists and friends gathered to celebrate the life and music of Levon Helm at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The flow of talent was staggering and ranged from Helm’s contemporaries – Roger Waters, Jorma Kaukonen, John Prine, Allen Toussaint, Mavis Staples, Joe Walsh and Gregg Allman – to younger musicians, including My Morning Jacket, Ray LaMontagne, Eric Church, John Mayer, Deirks Bentley, Jakob Dylan, Robert Randolph and Grace Potter.
The concert was a benefit to support the lasting legacy of Helm by helping his estate keep ownership of his Woodstock home, barn and studio, and to keep the music flowing at the famous Midnight Ramble sessions.
With a career spanning over 50 years, Levon Helm has left behind a rich musical heritage. From his earlier years with Ronnie Hawkins, Bob Dylan and the Band, to his recent Grammy Award wins for “Dirt Farmer,” “Electric Dirt,” and “Ramble at the Ryman,” to his legendary Midnight Rambles, Helm’s influence was far reaching. His spirit and sound had a universal draw and touched the lives of countless musicians and fans.