Levon Helm’s autobio “This Wheel’s on Fire” sizzles.
I especially like this part:
“First I went to Mexico and lived on the beach until I’d spent all my money. Then I met up with Kirby Pennick, a musician friend from Arkansas, and together we discovered that Florida was a bad place to be broke. We were just bumming around. We got the paper, and there was a drive-away Lincoln going from Florida to New Orleans. We just said, “Let’s go.”
I especially like the above since there is a very similar trip/experience in my dossier… But arriving broke in Florida right after hurricane Andrew on a cheap flight from London after bumming around Europe (grapes, chestnuts, bad yodellers band, Gwar, Oktoberfest etc) > Getting a driveway car from dodgy goodfellas in Miami (after food at Hare Krishnas) splitting across dark sketchy Alligator Alley through bright morning New Orleans > to beers-in-car Texas, with several police pull overs along the way. Yikes.
Oddly foosball in Austin with good ole boys met in Vegas between Dead shows, a 9-11 disturbance, canyon hotspring flings, and a medieval wedding > anyhow and almost met our/my demise dropping the car off in Dallas to a large angry man who expected something very important and illegal in the trunk.￼ Trevor Erikson and i found ourselves very out of place but adjusted rapidly and took control, even recouping deposit (in cash, not cheque) and a lift downtown.
Somehow finagled a Greyhound 2 for 1 ticket to from an even more angry tweaker who chased the bus like a rapid dachshund. Ate well in SLC on a dodgy credit card, zoom zoom ended up at Marble Arch then Tottori. This was 1993 i think or 92.
No photo evidence exists. Oh yeah: Dig Levon’s tome #theband
How to pack a large amount of non-ordinary lifestyle into a small amount of time, without a lot of money – or none really. True definition of adventure perhaps? Will love you forever brother Dave. Such memories create interesting and long lasting pathways within the soul. And, yes, it was 1992.
Reposted here to encourage the world to get their mitts on the talented Mr. Helm’s new offering
Inspiration from the Delta: Levon Goes Home for Dirt Farmer
Levon Helm’s first record in more than a decade, Dirt Farmer, will be released to the public on October 30, through Dirt Farmer Music LLC in conjunction with Vanguard Records. Levon sings and plays drums, guitar and mandolin on the CD, accompanied by Larry Campbell on guitars and fiddle, and the voices of Amy Helm and Teresa Williams. The record explores songs Levon learned as a boy in Arkansas and others in that style.
“Growing up on a cotton farm in the Arkansas Delta, Dirt Farmer rings true to home,” Levon said. “Amy encouraged me to go all the way back and try to record some of the family songs from home that we always loved best.”
The record reveals the essential beauty of traditional songs like “Little Birds” and the Stanley Brothers’ “False Hearted Lover Blues,” and takes a new look at Paul Kennerley’s “A Train Robbery,” Buddy and Julie Miller’s “Wide River To Cross” and another sentimental favorite, Lauralyn Dossett’s “Anna Lee.”
Levon said: “‘The Girl I Left Behind’ was one of the first songs my parents taught me as a child, along with ‘Little Birds’and ‘Blind Child.’ ‘The Poor Old Dirt Farmer’ is a song that my wood-carver musician friend Michael Copus and I learned together when we worked with Jane Fonda on The Dollmaker down in Tennessee. ‘Single Girl, Married Girl’ is one of my favorite songs of the whole session. It gave us the chance to address a traditional standard with the entire rhythm section using non-electric instruments and a full set of drums. It also gave us the chance to monkey up the rhythm of a traditional country beat.”
1. False Hearted Lover Blues 3:29
2. Poor Old Dirt Farmer 3:52
3. The Mountain 3:35
4. Little Birds 4:41
5. The Girl Left Behind 3:35
6. Calvary 4:53
7. Anna Lee 3:42
8. Got Me a Woman 3:11
9. A Train Robbery 5:28
10. Single Girl, Married Girl 3:18
11. Blind Child 3:26
12. Feelin’ Good 3:31
13. Wide River To Cross 4:52