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Levon Helm on World Cafe | October 14, 2013

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This segment, from Jan. 18, 2008, is part of our Vintage Cafeseries, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances. Here, we remember an Americana legend and drummer for the '60s rock group The Band, Levon Helm, who died in 2012.

Levon Helm first picked up a guitar at age 8, but soon switched to drums. Though best known as the famous drummer for the rock group The Band, Helm continued to influence music with his collaborations and solo works.

The Band's 1968 debut, Music From Big Pink, mixed country, rock, folk, classical and Americana, and proved to be a classic — as would The Band's 1976 farewell performance, captured in the album and film The Last Waltz. The Band was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame for its influence on the rock music of the '60s, '70s and beyond.

Helm launched a solo career apart from The Band, releasing several albums. In the late '90s, he turned to blues with a new group, Levon Helm & The Barn Burners. In 2007, he released his first solo record in 25 years, the Grammy-winning Dirt Farmer. (via World Cafe)

Tracklisting

(( )) for interlude music

The Band “Chest Fever” Music From the Big Pink 
Houndmouth “Penitentiary” From the Hills Below the City
Faces "Cindy Incidentally" Best of Faces
((Valerie June “Working Woman Blues” Recorded Live for the World Cafe))
Levon Helm “Little Birds” Dirt Farmer
Levon Helm “A Train Robbery” Dirt Farmer
The Band “The Weight” Music From Big Pink
Levon Helm “Poor Old Dirt Farmer” Dirt Farmer
((Levon Helm “Got Me A Woman” Recorded Live for the World Cafe))
Levon Helm “Ashes Of Love” Recorded Live for the World Cafe from the Midnight Ramble
Levon Helm “Bye Bye Love” Recorded Live for the World Cafe from the Midnight Ramble
Levon Helm “Going Back To Memphis” Recorded Live for the World Cafe from the Midnight Ramble
Levon Helm “Got Me A Woman” Recorded Live for the World Cafe from the Midnight Ramble
((Anthony D’Amato “Holy War” Down Wires))
Jason Isbell “Super 8” Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Declan O’Rourke “Time Machine” Mag Pai Zai
Declan O’Rourke “Galileo (Someone Like You)” Since Kyabram
Elvis Costello “Watch Your Step” Girls Girls Girls
Mark Knopfler “I Use to Could” Privateering
((Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite “I’m In, I’m Out, and I’m Gone” Recorded Live for the World Cafe))
Mayer Hawthorne “The Stars Are Ours” Where Does This Door Go?
Steely Dan “My Old School” Countdown to Ecstasy
San Fermin “Sonsick” San Fermin
Roxy Music “Avalon” Avalon
((Yo La Tengo “I’ll Be Around” Recorded Live for the World Cafe))
Kelley Stoltz “Inside My Head” Double Exposure
REM “Near Wild Heaven” Out Of Time
The Dukes of Stratosphear “Vanishing Girl” Chips From the Chocolate Fireball