Posted in Music, tagged Delorean, Delorean blog, Emmylou Harris, Groundhog Day, Levon Helm, Manic Street Preachers, Playtonic J, Robbie Robertson, Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads, the Band, The Last Waltz, Tiny Mix Tapes on July 20, 2011 |
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I am thrilled to report that my fifth article for Tiny Mix Tapes’ Delorean blog was posted today! For those of you who don’t know, I, under the moniker “Playtonic J”, write for the online music magazine Tiny Mix Tapes’ Delorean blog. Previously, the Delorean section used to solely consist of reviews for older music. However, with TMT’s redesigned website (and ethos?), the ‘Delorean Blog’ will now be a place where I can write about almost anything: track reviews, lists, Beatles conspiracy theories, etc.
My first article was a kitsch nod to the holiday and film Groundhog Day with a review of the Manic Street Preachers’ song “Groundhog Day.” For my second article, I continually listened to and painstakingly researched Talking Heads’ 1983 album Speaking in Tongues. Now, after a sizable break from my last article, I decided to write about Levon Helm and Emmylou Harris’ performance of “Evangeline,” a song written by the Band’s Robbie Robertson and immortalized in the concert film The Last Waltz. Click the link below to read my thoughts on “Evangeline”:
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Posted in Music, Review, tagged Anthony Mason, “Deep Elem Blues”, “Long Black Veil”, “The Weight”, Central Park, David Bromberg, Emmylou Harris, Eye to Eye with Katie Couric, Grateful Dead, Gregg Greenwood, Hayes Carll, Joan Osborne, Levon Helm, Ophelia, Rolling Stone, Shawn Colvin, SummerStage, the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, the Band, The Bowery Presents, the Hawks, The House List, the Levon Helm Band on July 19, 2011 |
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(Editor’s Note: This piece appears on The Bowery Presents The House List. Check it out here)
In 2007 on Eye to Eye with Katie Couric, Levon Helm made a surprising confession. When asked by interviewer Anthony Mason how throat cancer affected his status as a singer, Helm responded, “I’ve always thought of myself as the drummer and I’d take my turn to sing whenever I’d have to, but my joy is to play the drums.” This sentiment is not a coping strategy. In fact, Rolling Stone ranked him No. 91 in the list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Rather, Helm, a drummer for more than 50 years with acts ranging from the Hawks to his career-defining stint with the Band, seems quite pleased to continue drumming into his 70s, even if his voice is faltering. And on Monday night at Central Park’s SummerStage, he steadily manned his band’s rhythm section, contented by a workman’s approach and delighted with a broad smile.
Joined by openers Hayes Carll and seminal country musician Emmylou Harris, the Levon Helm Band played from nightfall to rainfall. In the beginning, Helm offered his vocals on the Band classic “Ophelia.” Fans showed great appreciation for the effort, a reminder of Helm’s rare ability to simultaneously sing and drum exceeding well. And despite being able to sustain vocal duties, the rest of his extraordinarily talented band compensated for the loss, singing and harmonizing beautifully throughout the show.
Renditions of country standards “Long Black Veil” and “Deep Elem Blues,” made popular by the Grateful Dead, shared similarities to the original versions but took on a unique, lively character when played by the Levon Helm Band, a reflection of the band’s namesake. So even as rain poured down on the all-ages crowd, Helm and his band’s energy overcame the elements. And when the band closed with “The Weight,” joined by special guests Shawn Colvin, Joan Osborne and David Bromberg, all in attendance forgave the weather and sang along. We’re more than happy to share vocal duties with Helm.
Photo courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | www.gregggreenwood.com
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