Elvis Costello at Levon Helm's Ramble

Pretty self-explanatory
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Elvis Costello at Levon Helm's Ramble

Postby Joy Munsey » Sun Feb 12, 2006 4:18 pm

I hear Elvis was at Levon Helm's Ramble last night! Guests are often not announced in advance. Looks like that was the case last night. Allen Toussaint was also there.

Joy

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Postby johnfoyle » Sun Feb 12, 2006 4:37 pm

There may eventually be photos 'n stuff here -

http://www.levonhelm.com/midnight_ramble.htm

February 11, 06 Levon Helm Studios

Levon Helm Studios presents... The Midnight Ramble Sessions
The Levon Helm Band
Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra
The Alexis P. Suter Band

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Postby johnfoyle » Mon Feb 13, 2006 8:49 am

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps ... 30326/1005



Costello makes surprise stop in Woodstock
Rocker plays at Helm's place


By John W. Barry
Poughkeepsie Journal


Delivering the punch and flash of a headlining stadium tour while maintaining the intimacy of a garage band jam session, three icons of modern music Saturday night shook the rafters of a Woodstock recording studio.

Those who attended the latest edition of former Band drummer Levon Helm's "Midnight Ramble" house concerts — typically sold out at $100 a ticket — were simply left shaking their heads.

Helm for his semi-regular concert Saturday welcomed two surprise guests — Elvis Costello and New Orleans composer, singer and pianist Allen Toussaint, an anchor of that city's music scene.

Costello played acoustic guitar but did not sing for a good part of the evening. He played none of his hits and looked like a rumpled college professor late for class. But he was obviously very pleased to be playing Helm's sideman on songs he was learning on the spot.

When Costello did sing, he stopped the show.

Costello and Helm's band members discussed chord progressions and keys of songs seconds before launching into a tune. But Costello never seemed to miss a beat and maintained that suave, debonair air of a showman that is a linchpin of his on-stage persona.

New Orleans style

Toussaint, an old friend of Helm's who worked with The Band, joined in well into the set, tickling out of the ivories some hard-core Crescent City Dixieland that brought the crowd to its feet. His style of music was deep like the Delta and combined classical, gospel and Motown into a melange that is perhaps rarely heard so far north of the French Quarter.

Through it all, Helm sang, played guitar, mandolin and drums. He rarely stopped flashing the blinding grin of a child who had just pulled off a schoolyard prank.

Costello's star power radiated when he assumed leadership of the ensemble and took over lead vocals.

One highlight was the preview of new material that he and Toussaint recently recorded. In fact, that collaboration played a big role in bringing the two to Helm's studio.

After Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Helm sent his old friend Toussaint a bouquet of flowers. Fast forward several months and Helm gets a call from Toussaint saying he would be in New York working with Costello and the two have some time available to come to Woodstock.

"My long-time, dear friend," a gushing Toussaint said on-stage about Helm. "I'm so glad to be in his neck of the woods ..."

John W. Barry can be reached at jobarry@poughkeepsiejournal.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.recordonline.com/archive/200 ... /helm.html

February 13, 2006

Helm gets Elvis into building

By Steve Israel
Times Herald-Record
sisrael@th-record.com

Woodstock – An hour after Elvis Costello and Levon Helm strapped on their acoustic guitars, Helm leans into the microphone and says: "Let Elvis do one."

So Costello, who had been content to play acoustic guitar and sing backup with the former Band drummer and singer, steps up to the mic. In a voice as meaty as a thick sirloin steak and as sharp as a knife, Costello wails: "You better help me baby/I can't do it by myself."

As he stretches "help" into a six syllable plea that ricochets off the bluestone walls of Helm's home studio, you can almost see the goose bumps popping on 150 stunned fans.

This was Saturday night at one of Helm's Midnight Rambles, where Costello was the surprise guest. This was two of the greatest voices in rock 'n' roll making music for the sake of music. This was music that was as down home as the Ramble's homemade brownies (with Helm's name on the icing) and hot popcorn.

This was Costello driving up from the city and down Helm's dirt road for one of the jams that have featured guests like Dr. John, Donald Fagen and Emmylou Harris. In a midnight blue suit with a matching shirt and tie, Costello walked out on the floor-level stage like he was one of the guys. No announcement. No spotlight. Just a slight smile, a little wave and an "all right, we're gonna try one for ya right now" from Helm, his voice strong, but still a bit frayed from his bout with throat cancer.

This was unrehearsed music – "wrong key,'' Helm said after a false start on "Man of Constant Sorrow," the fourth song of the set and the first with Costello singing fervent harmonies to Helm's fertile lead.

Costello would smile after he helped sing the first chorus of "Atlantic City:" "Everything dies/Baby that's a fact/But maybe everything that dies/Someday will come back." He would holler "Don't Ya Tell Henry." And he'd shout "ooh" as Port Jervis blues man Little Sammy Davis led Helm and the band in a "have some fun tonight" version of "Long Tall Sally."

But he waited an hour until he led the band. This wasn't a greatest-hits set. He introduced new tunes he just recorded with another surprise guest, New Orleans' pianist Allen Toussaint, who's produced singles like "Mother in Law," arranged horns for the Band and played the rippling roly-poly piano lines that, on Saturday night, glistened like his bright red shirt.

Toussaint and Costello teamed up on a mouth-dropping ballad with the lyric: "How long does a promise last/How long can a lie be told." Costello hushed the standing room only crowd with these words: "There must be something better than this/Because it can't get much worse/What do we have to do/To send a river in reverse."

And then, just after midnight, Elvis Costello and Levon Helm went back to having fun.

Helm shook a fist. Costello cracked a smile. And they invited their 150 new friends to join them with these words that, on this February night, didn't seem one bit corny: "Everybody just sing, sing, sing/Let's all begin to do our thing/And make a better world to live in."

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Postby martinfoyle » Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:37 am

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps ... 30326/1005

Image

Photo:Paul La Raia
Levon Helm, from left, Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello got together for a jam session at Helm's place in Woodstock Saturday night.

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Postby JEM » Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:47 pm

This is so cool.

My buddy is the guy that wrote the Poughkeepsie Journal piece.

Think I'll be calling him momentarily.

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Postby martinfoyle » Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:42 pm

Your buddys writing is refreshingly enthusiastic, he's obviously a music fan. Tell him I think his work on the Living Daylights soundtrack is much underrated. I believe Larry Campbell was instrumental in getting Elvis to go to the Ramble, though I'm sure Elvis would have gone no matter who asked him.

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Postby johnfoyle » Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:06 pm


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Postby BlueChair » Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:18 pm

Did Levon's voice ever fully recover from his illness? For a while there his voice was barely more than a whisper.
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Postby Joy Munsey » Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:57 am

Levon's voice is very strong now and getting stronger!

Joy

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Postby johnfoyle » Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:21 pm


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Postby johnfoyle » Sun Apr 23, 2006 5:04 am

http://www.recordonline.com/archive/200 ... 04-23.html

April 23, 2006

A life in Blues


By Steve Israel
Times Herald-Record

( extract)

He was raised by a grandmother who was sold as a slave four times. He grew up to sing the blues with greats like Elvis Costello, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Levon Helm. He appears on "Imus in the Morning" so much, he can poke fun at the I-Man and live to joke about it.

Little Sammy Davis sure has learned a lot during his 79-year journey from the Mississippi Delta to Port Jervis - about everything from prejudice to prayer.

Reporter Steve Israel sat down with the harmonica-playing bluesman recently for the latest edition of the Record's new feature, What I've Learned.

Here's what Davis has learned:

Elvis Costello? He's something else. The way he plays that guitar, it don't look like he's doing nothing, like there ain't nothing to it. But he be playing all over that guitar, playing all sorts of scales and chords. He's a nice man, signed my guitar for me.

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Postby johnfoyle » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:27 pm

Crikey - Elvis must have been on Nellie The Elephant duty to miss this !

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps ... E/70317005

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Levon Helm bombards the Beacon


Moving in seismic steps, igniting rather than simply playing songs, Woodstock resident and former Band drummer Levon Helm Friday night bombarded Broadway with nearly three hours of music that left a sold-out crowd at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan standing, cheering and flailing their arms.

The Levon Helm Band, Alexis P. Suter Band and Ollabelle will do it all again tonight for a second, sold-out crowd.

Friday night's concert marked a triumphant return to the rock 'n roll spotlight for Helm, who over decades with his fellow Band members, also Woodstock residents, became a part of the American musical lexicon. This weekend's concerts mark the biggest gigs Helm has played in years, following a battle with throat cancer.

And Helm had many friends to help him celebrate on the night before St. Patrick's Day.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien guitarist Jimmy Vivino and former Bob Dylan guitarist Larry Campbell tweaked and tugged at their instrument strings all night, often dueling along the way.

New Orleans pianist Allen Toussaint played in Helm's backing band - which at times boasted 17 members - throughout the night. But Gov't Mule and Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes, who seemed in mourning as he wailed his way through "I Shall Be Released," delivered the night's show-stopping performance.

The songs that put The Band at the epicenter of modern music years ago were on Friday night delivered with a powerful punch. The Band songs that Helm played -"Ophelia," "Rag, Mama Rag" and "The Weight" among others - were even more of a spectacle Friday night than the raucous, rocking versions of these songs Helm has been playing at his semi-regular Rambles, intimate house concerts held for the public at his Woodstock recording studio.

The slow, meandering blues songs that Helm loves took a longer time finding their groove in the majestic Beacon than they typically do at his cozy recording studio. But the audience didn't mind. They seemed content to simply gaze at the man with the grey hair and one black glove who tucks his chin into his right shoulder when he plays drums.

One of the evening's more touching moments came when Little Sammy Davis, a harmonica player who is a fixture at the Rambles, left the stage after a song. As he walked off - dressed in a black tuxedo - a crowd of fans at the edge of the stage reached for his hand as though he was a visiting head-of-state. Davis obliged with a smile, followed seconds later by a beaming, lone spotlight that followed him offstage.

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Helm at Beacon

Postby wolfcat » Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:55 pm

We saw Levon's Friday night show. Good concert. Not as good as the Midnight Ramble, which is an incredible experience. The sound was not always great, especially (vocal mic) on the Toussant song. I'm liking the Beacon less and less. Had hoped EC might make an appearance. Warren Haynes quitar and vocal on "I Shall Be Released," was amazing!
"With one eye on her place
in debtor's prison
And the other on a girl dressed as a rabbit".

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Re: Elvis Costello at Levon Helm's Ramble

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:07 pm

http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/i ... n-parties/

Levon Helm Gets Back To House Party Roots With “Midnight Ramble” Barn Parties

7/23/09, 2:45 pm EST

Over 40 years since his earthy wail graced The Band’s classic-beyond-classic “The Weight”—and 11 years since cancer and radiation treatments reduced it to a whisper—singer/drummer Levon Helm is busy making music as powerful as ever. In the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Austin Scaggs hung out in Helm’s kitchen just outside of Woodstock, New York. Since 2004, he’s been holding the Midnight Ramble, a relaxed jam held nearly every Saturday in his barn, usually followed by the smoking of copious amounts of weed. Since Helm’s cancer was defeated and his vocal cords have returned, he’s released two albums, the Grammy-winning collection of country hymns and folk tunes Dirt Farmer, and this year’s Electric Dirt, “This go round has been a lot more fun,” he says. “Now I know I’ve got enough voice to do it.” Both albums were fueled on the intimate energy of his weekly Rambles

“The Midnight Ramble is Helm’s idea of a perfect house party,” writes Scaggs. “Old-time music, playing late into the night, studio quality acoustics and a rapt audience, many of whom arrive bearing casseroles for the potluck dinner. There is an appealing intimacy at the barn; from the best seats one can literally reach out and touch Helm’s ride cymbal.” After radiation treatments destroyed his vocal cords, Helm used the Rambles to ease back into singing, slowly working his voice back up in a relaxed environment, and as Helm says, “without some club owner or promoter telling me to sing a few ‘old ones.”

Read more about Helm’s Midnight Ramble, and his various special guests (Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Dr. John, Donald Fagen and many more) in RS issue 1084, on newsstands now.

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Re: Elvis Costello at Levon Helm's Ramble

Postby And No Coffee Table » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:28 pm

The EC content in the print version is limited to this one sentence: "Over the years, musicians including Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Dr. John and Allen Toussaint have made their way to the barn."

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Re: Elvis Costello at Levon Helm's Ramble

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:07 pm

This has, surely , to feature Elvis-

http://www.amazon.com/Levon-Helms-Midni ... _rhf_p_t_1

Image

Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble

by Paul LaRaia
October 15, 2009

Product Description


The official record of the incredible down-home jam sessions held by Levon Helm, the charismatic drummer, singer, and sometimes mandolin player for The Band. Accompanying the spectacular photos are testimonials and remembrances from the notable blues entertainers and musicians who have joined the Ramble.

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Re: Elvis Costello at Levon Helm's Ramble

Postby Who Shot Sam? » Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:43 am

EC talked about this a bit at the Apollo taping.
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Re: Elvis Costello at Levon Helm's Ramble

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:01 am

With a book token to use up I treated myself to Paul La Raia 's book. Besides photos from Elvis 'n Allen's Feb.'06 'Ramble appearance it also, as you can see, features an account by Elvis. Written in Paris in Nov. '08 (during, presumably, his stay to appear in Steve Nieve's opera) he tells of what a shit time he had putting up with all those happy, clappy hippies. Actually he doesn't - in line with the rest of the contributors he tells of what a fabulous time he had etc. Doubtlessly Levon's show is great and all that but a whole book of abject worship does get a bit wearying after a while. That aside the reproductions are beautiful and a heartfelt and deserving tribute to Levon.




Image

Image

Image

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Re: Elvis Costello at Levon Helm's Ramble

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:39 pm

Remembering Levon.

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Re: Elvis Costello at Levon Helm's Ramble

Postby thepopeofpop » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:41 pm

I imagine that Elvis will probably have something to say about Levon's life soon enough. Keep eyes peeled on all likely publications.

In the meantime, RIP Mr Levon Helm.
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Re: Elvis Costello at Levon Helm's Ramble

Postby Man out of Time » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:55 am

In this interview with Greg Gattine, filmed at Levon Helm's studios, on 14 November 2013 Elvis discusses Levon Helm, playing at the Ramble with Allen Toussaint, playing with The Roots and much more.



MOOT

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Re: Elvis Costello at Levon Helm's Ramble

Postby martinfoyle » Wed May 21, 2014 10:03 am

http://www.jambase.com/Articles/121363/ ... s-Volume-3

On July 1 Vanguard Records will release the third installment of the Midnight Ramble Sessions compilations recorded live at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY during the late The Band drummer's Midnight Ramble concerts.

The latest installment contains performances recorded between 2005 and 2010 featuring such guest artists as Chris Robinson, Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint with The Levon Helm Band: Levon Helm, Larry Campbell, Jimmy Vivino, Mike Merritt, Jimmy Weider, Amy Helm, Teresa Williams, Jay Collins, Eric Lawrence, Clark Gayton, Brian Mitchell, Steven Bernstein, Howard Johnson and Byron Isaacs. Levon hand picked the tracks found on the release before he passed away and also designed the cover art.

Here's a look at the tracklisting for Midnight Ramble Sessions Volume 3:

The Same Thing (Levon Helm) 2/14/09
Ain’t That Good News (Amy Helm) 8/28/10
God Don’t Never Change (Jimmy Vivino ) 1/10/09
Drivin’ Wheel (Levon Helm) 5/16/09
I’m A Jealous Man (Larry Campbell) 1/31/09
Stagger Lee (Little Sammy Davis) 10/18/05
Simple Twist of Fate (Brian Mitchell) 3/14/09
One More Shot (Levon Helm) 12/9/06
Turn Around (Teresa Williams) 5/9/09
The Beautiful Lie (Amy Helm, Teresa Williams, Fiona McBain) 1/3/09
A Certain Girl (Allen Toussaint) 1/1/07
Shake Your Money Maker (Chris Robinson) 8/23/08
Take Me To The River (Levon Helm) 2/10/07

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Re: Elvis Costello at Levon Helm's Ramble

Postby And No Coffee Table » Wed May 21, 2014 11:40 am

martinfoyle wrote:A Certain Girl (Allen Toussaint) 1/1/07


Azmuda confirmed with one of the album's producers that EC plays on this track. What's strange is that we know EC appeared with Allen Toussaint at the February 11, 2006 Midnight Ramble, but there had been no reports of a January 1, 2007 appearance.

Levon Helm's website does have Toussaint (but not EC) listed for December 31, 2006, which I assume is the same show as January 1, 2007.

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Re: Elvis Costello at Levon Helm's Ramble

Postby bronxapostle » Wed May 21, 2014 3:18 pm

And No Coffee Table wrote:
martinfoyle wrote:A Certain Girl (Allen Toussaint) 1/1/07


Azmuda confirmed with one of the album's producers that EC plays on this track. What's strange is that we know EC appeared with Allen Toussaint at the February 11, 2006 Midnight Ramble, but there had been no reports of a January 1, 2007 appearance.

Levon Helm's website does have Toussaint (but not EC) listed for December 31, 2006, which I assume is the same show as January 1, 2007.



sad to think that all listed in this article will not see the light of day. i'd like to hear EC singing A.C.


http://www.recordonline.com/archive/200 ... /helm.html

February 13, 2006

Helm gets Elvis into building

By Steve Israel
Times Herald-Record
sisrael@th-record.com

Woodstock – An hour after Elvis Costello and Levon Helm strapped on their acoustic guitars, Helm leans into the microphone and says: "Let Elvis do one."

So Costello, who had been content to play acoustic guitar and sing backup with the former Band drummer and singer, steps up to the mic. In a voice as meaty as a thick sirloin steak and as sharp as a knife, Costello wails: "You better help me baby/I can't do it by myself."

As he stretches "help" into a six syllable plea that ricochets off the bluestone walls of Helm's home studio, you can almost see the goose bumps popping on 150 stunned fans.

This was Saturday night at one of Helm's Midnight Rambles, where Costello was the surprise guest. This was two of the greatest voices in rock 'n' roll making music for the sake of music. This was music that was as down home as the Ramble's homemade brownies (with Helm's name on the icing) and hot popcorn.

This was Costello driving up from the city and down Helm's dirt road for one of the jams that have featured guests like Dr. John, Donald Fagen and Emmylou Harris. In a midnight blue suit with a matching shirt and tie, Costello walked out on the floor-level stage like he was one of the guys. No announcement. No spotlight. Just a slight smile, a little wave and an "all right, we're gonna try one for ya right now" from Helm, his voice strong, but still a bit frayed from his bout with throat cancer.

This was unrehearsed music – "wrong key,'' Helm said after a false start on "Man of Constant Sorrow," the fourth song of the set and the first with Costello singing fervent harmonies to Helm's fertile lead.

Costello would smile after he helped sing the first chorus of "Atlantic City:" "Everything dies/Baby that's a fact/But maybe everything that dies/Someday will come back." He would holler "Don't Ya Tell Henry." And he'd shout "ooh" as Port Jervis blues man Little Sammy Davis led Helm and the band in a "have some fun tonight" version of "Long Tall Sally."

But he waited an hour until he led the band. This wasn't a greatest-hits set. He introduced new tunes he just recorded with another surprise guest, New Orleans' pianist Allen Toussaint, who's produced singles like "Mother in Law," arranged horns for the Band and played the rippling roly-poly piano lines that, on Saturday night, glistened like his bright red shirt.

Toussaint and Costello teamed up on a mouth-dropping ballad with the lyric: "How long does a promise last/How long can a lie be told." Costello hushed the standing room only crowd with these words: "There must be something better than this/Because it can't get much worse/What do we have to do/To send a river in reverse."

And then, just after midnight, Elvis Costello and Levon Helm went back to having fun.

Helm shook a fist. Costello cracked a smile. And they invited their 150 new friends to join them with these words that, on this February night, didn't seem one bit corny: "Everybody just sing, sing, sing/Let's all begin to do our thing/And make a better world to live in."
johnfoyle


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