Levon Helm becomes Spectacle on Elvis show
Friday, December 18, 2009
– Fresh on the heels of his second consecutive Grammy nomination for "Electric Dirt," Levon Helm will appear on Elvis Costello's Spectacle Program, Dec. 23 on the Sundance Channel. Helm will be on the show with his guitarist Larry Campbell.
Helm released the disc June 30 and toured heavily this summer.
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Time can be a funny thing. Where the passage of decades has made Bob Dylan's voice nearly unintelligible, the years have sanded some of the grit off of Levon Helm's legendary pipes. Yes, we're aware Mr. Helm has had medical issues with his throat, and don't wish to make light of his situation, but those elements have rendered his voice more smooth and supple whereas the best known versions of his songs had a little more grit at their core.
That doesn't mean you ...
Even when he was a young man, before the years and the ailments, Levon Helm's vocals sounded like they were from a bygone era. It was a voice to make you believe that medicine shows still traveled the earth. That wonderful, weathered instrument is the rustic heart of this new record, just as Helm's ageless drumming is its heartbeat. And despite a title that suggests a more modern program than 2007's "Dirt Farmer," the songs, like their vessel, are mostly from another time. ...
Levon Helm's music has always been firmly rooted in early American music well past the Carters and Stanleys. This embraces this heritage in its selections of traditional and contemporary Americana. As its title implies, "Dirt Farmer" is earthy with a raw and vital energy. It is Helm's valentine to life and the music that continues to sustain him.
Helm explains in the liner notes his interest in revisiting some traditional songs he grew up playing, including "Little ...