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Thursday, April 19

RIP Levon Helm - The Night They Drove Old Levon Down - May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012

As we reported earlier this week The Band member Levon Helm who played mandolin, drums, guitar and vocals for their 15 year ground breaking career was very ill.  As it turns out  he was fighting the cancer, and in the last days of his amazing life.  Today was that day. The Band were, and are one of the greatest bands to come out of the 60's rock and roll movement.  Known as America's Best Rock and Roll band from Canada, Helm was an American born citizen.  His contributions could never be overstated but what he has done since The Band broke up, their final show caught on tape in the epic cult classic Scorsese movie "The Last Waltz", shows how much this man loved music.  He played with the who's who list of rock and roll.  Starting off as Bob Dylan's backup band Helm founded the idea of settling down at one place and inviting friends to come and play with him for his famous "Midnite Rambles".   The list of artists that he has played along side include but is not limited to Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Dr. John, Chris Robinson, Allen Toussaint, Donald Fagen of Steely Dan and Jimmy Vivino of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien's" The Max Weinberg 7. Other performers have included Sean Costello, The Muddy Waters Tribute Band, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Carolyn Wonderland, Kris Kristofferson, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Justin Townes Earle, Bow Thayer, Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson, Rickie Lee Jones, Kate Taylor, Ollabelle, The Holmes Brothers, Catherine Russell, Norah Jones, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Phil Lesh (along with his sons Grahame and Brian), Hot Tuna (although Jorma Kaukonen introduced the group as "The Secret Squirrels"), MichaelAngelo D'Arrigo with various members of the Sistine Chapel, Johnny Johnson, Ithalia, and David Bromberg.  We at Phish and The Dead are huge fans of Levon Helm and every BAND he has played with.  So we with a heavy heart wish him and his family the best as he passes from this life and onto whatever is next. We want to let all of our readers know that this man is one we admired and still admire greatly and respect with the deepest love.  Thank you for everything Levon.  We love you.
Respectfully: Sammy Martin and Kevin Long
 © Phish and The Dead - a Grateful Music Publication