Levon Helm Dies Aged 71
Great Legacy indeed, Lat!
Originally Posted by Lateralthinking1
School dance record - fill the floor when it came on (all guys, needless to say!).
....and while we're there....
It is funny, and interesting, how records link in different ways. I do remember "Rag Mama Rag" from the time as it got quite a lot of airplay. Also the Joan Baez version of Night They Drove Old Dixie Down in '71. I am pretty sure Mavis Staples did The Weight from Big Pink when I saw her a couple of years ago at Womad. However, The Band album is another of my late 20-something purchases. One of the first cds I ever bought. It always seemed a very adult album to me. Nearly every track is a classic. Robert Elms's memory is a bit more vivid. He said yesterday that he was filming on the Mississippi and stopped off at a cafe in the middle of nowhere. There were just two people sitting there. Then suddenly a guy came in and spoke to the owner briefly before walking out. Elms said to the owner "that looked like Levon Helm" and the owner said "that's right, he lives just around the corner". So Elms rushed out, not to talk to him as he didn't want to be intrusive, but to see him walking with the Mississippi in the background.
Originally Posted by johncorrigan
Someone on the radio said today that The Band were influential on Dylan's change of course. It was also said that they virtually invented the "genre" of Americana. I just think that the way in which they engaged with deep roots to provide something of such integrity for the modern era was magic. It is rare to produce so many new songs that fit naturally into traditional folklore. Of course, many were written by Robbie Robertson and there was tension there. Helm felt that he contributed more to the songwriting than credited but his distinctive voice and musicianship were surely more than enough. I was very pleased that he managed to record Dirt Farmer just a few years ago. Given his health problems, it was a bit of a miracle and it was a very good album. Perhaps for a real challenge we should try sometime for a Spotify list of 100 great tracks recorded by people in their sixties.
Incidentally, I am hearing Randy Newman in that clip of Blind Boy Fuller.
Last edited by Lateralthinking1; 20-04-12 at 12:28.
I don't know about the influence, they certainly helped it happen (electrical) instrumentally, Dylan must have heard their work as the Hawks with Ronnie Hawkins! I heard that The Animals 'House of the Rising Sun' which was a song from Dylan's acoustic days, and his subsequent jamming with Alan Price was the main influence in going electric. As for Americana I would say they were one part of the evolution, alongside others including the Byrds and the chykens they hatched! Americana as a term has only really been used for the last 20 or so years, but then so many non-classical sub-genres are retrospective eg was rockabilly or doo wopp called that in the sixties - may have but I don't remember it being so. As for the songs fitting in the folk-lore again the Band was a clear respected leader (the contributors to Last Waltz show this!) but there were others and in the UK the Fairports and their derivatives, particularly the work of Richard Thompson. However all that said its sad to see Levon go. As a reminder of his work I'll dig out my Band albums for a listen!
Originally Posted by Lateralthinking1
Cloughie - Thanks for your excellent post. Very interesting. I didn't know that about Alan Price and "House of the Rising Sun" but I can see it. In my mind, it links in quite effectively with what became The Band, almost irrespective of Dylan. Incidentally, according to the reports, Dylan is pretty upset by this news about LH.
Originally Posted by cloughie
I do fully take the point about the Byrds but I think their long-term influence applies as much to British indie as it does Americana, particularly that of the late-ish 1980s. On Fairport, again yes, Liege and Lief is a giant in the history of music. I don't know though if I could think of as many songs of theirs that are regarded as standards - Lat.
mr handsomefortune will be gutted at this news! whilst he doesn't know anything about 'the band', (nor a dylan fan) - but this utube song starts many a wkend, as it's so triumphant, the drum roll into the chorus is especially contageous.
despite the demise of the star of the show on drums & vox, 'the night they drove old dixie down' performed by 'the band' will remain a fave for lots of people, enthusiasts, and random 'utube trawlers' alike. (sad to see it's got an advert before it already - that's the problem with notoriety these days, dying becomes a new opportunity to advertise pizza etc)! happily, some kind, considerate soul has posted another post of the same song, minus advert - (as linked above) oooops i just re-checked - and due to some hideous 'technological magic' - the new song now has a tacky film advert prior to 'the band' - no escape unfortunately, sorry: heavy on the 'skip' button punters)!
great post cloughie - glad you mention 'the animals' as it gives me an excuse to play a personal fave, lyrically espesh. music critic, charles shah murray is good on this period of music imv. definitely agree - it's true about the 'mysterious' names of 'retrospective' genres, being totally unrecogniseable to the generation before, who were actually there at the time! (what's currently termed 'r&b' being an example lateralthinking1 and others have pointed out is actually mainstream hiphop)