Thursday, April 19, 2012

Farewell to a Southern Gentleman - Levon Helm, RIP

  So passes the last of the Band's trio of vocalists (Richard Manuel in 1986 and Rick Danko in 1999) and the only American in such an American sounding and rooted group.  The Band is one of greatest artifacts from the sixties and produced some of the best music in that era and which stands up under the weight of time and changing tastes much better than so many more fashionable artists' work.  Taking from the pre-rock and roll sounds of America such as folk, country, blues and blue grass as well as early popular music, they embedded it in rock and made it even better.  I may never need to hear "The Weight", "Up On Cripple Creek" or "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" again, but to miss out on "Ophelia", "Chest Fever", "King Harvest" and so many others would be painful.

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