The loss of Levon Helm is devastating. He was an American icon. "A drummer who could make you cry," his own bandmates said.
I feel so lucky to have experienced so many of his concerts and to have visited his home in Woodstock, New York to attend a Midnight Ramble. It was one of the best experiences one can have today in music.
Audiences were invited to Levon’s "Barn,” which was actually a performance space and recording studio attached to Levon’s home. There is plenty of seating and a cozy fireplace to keep warm in the winter. Levon’s dog, Muddy, often greeted guests.
The Midnight Ramble Sessions were based on the southern medicine shows of Levon’s youth. Since they began in 2004, Levon has invited some of the most notable blues entertainers and musicians of the era to perform at his home. I have no idea if the Rambles will continue, but I know they will not be the same without Levon.
To one of the great musicians of this era and a man who gave me hours of pleasure, I can only say rest in peace.