Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Folk Music Review: Levon Helm

Continuing my journey through folk music I come to a man many of you probably heard in his earlier years with The Band, Levon Helm. The Band had such hits as “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Dixie Down,” “Up On Cripple Creek,” and more. A think a lot of Southern Rock, which is what you would categories The Band as, has some roots in folk music just without all of the strings.

In 2007 Levon Helm released a new solo album called dirt farmer that has a very strong folk base to it. In an interview I saw on Amazon.Com I believe he talked a little bit about the album and how a lot of these songs were sung as a child on the farm. With great string guitar playing and Levon’s rough voice this album really seems to take you back in time. The melodies and blending of instruments with the back ground vocals gives one a sense of sitting out in a field late at night with your buddies drinking beer. I also love Levon’s story telling in his songs you really do feel like you know these people and are going through their trials and tribulations with them.

My favorite song on this album is called “Train Robbery” and I guess my drawl to it is again history. I love railroad songs and this is a railroad song about Jesse James’ gang robbing the train. Some other good tunes on this one are “Calvary,” “Anna Lee,” and “The Blind Child.”

In my next installment I will continue my tour of folk music with a modern, up and coming string band out of Tennessee.

Levon Helm's Official Site:

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