The chronicles of Ruin, continued.
Call me Ishmael said....intelligence is knowing what to do when you don't know what to do.
Anonymous said... When I don't know what to do,I come here.
10 September 2009 22:59
Thursday, 17 May 2012
Band & Emmylou Harris . Evangeline EVENSONG . Levon Helm died last month. His was not the sole but it was perhaps the most recognisable of the singing voices in The Band. A redneck shitkicker, Helm was a no-nonsense, country-rockabilly- blues singer and multi-instrumentalist - playing mandolin in this clip - who famously - after the worldwide acclaim awarded The Band's Music From Big Pink - deplored the industry's preceding mountain of druggy doggerel rock pretence thus: Pyschedelia? We just thought that was Bullshit. Perhaps less culturally adventurous than his bandmates - who were then called the Hawks - Helm declined to do the famous World Booing Tour, accompanying motormouth, speedfreak wunderkind, Bob Dylan, leaving Dylan, Robertson, Manuel, Hudson, Danko and stand-in drummer Micky Jones to, without him, speak loud, amplified amphetamine-peace unto the heathen. Helm, however, was not so reticent when it came to shacking-up with Bob in Woodstock, NY and, via the jamming sessions, which would later emerge as the Basement Tapes, honing The Band's ensemble playing until finally, for a decade, it swept all before it. The Weight, Up On Cripple Creek, Long Black Veil, Chest Fever, Stage Fright, Tears of Rage, I Shall Be Released, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (written by Robertson to Helm's Johnny Reb sensibilities), these, North American roots music, anthems, knees-ups and laments, redirected such meagre artists as were then working in what had started out as Rock'n'Roll. Despairing at his own - in my view as yet unrelieved - artistic morbidity, Eric Wogbasher Clapton, on hearing The Band, dismantled the pompous, overblown and over-rated Cream and Richard Thompson sought to craft Fairport Convention into a similar but English roots music band. Self-indulgent supergroups crumbled, slip-sliding on double and triple "concept|" albums. Roberta Plant and Mick Jagger continued waving their cocks at vast androgyne audiences but more adept musos, such as Steve Winwood got back, if not to their roots, to somebody else's. Steeleye Span, Lindisfarnne a nd countless even lesser conclaves plundered the Anglo-ethnic and celtic traditions of the Copper family and the McPeakes Of the original members of this massively influential group, Richard Manuel hanged hinself, young; Rick Danko OD'd, young;Levon Helm died more prosaically, at 71, of cancer; Robbie Robertson suffers from crippling and incurable egomania and Maestro Garth Hudson lives in relatively modest normality. Former manager, |Albert Grossman, died in his fifties and former amenuensis, Bob Dylan, 72, nightly treads the boards in his own, freakish, travelling salvation show. There are giants in US popular music, Stephen Foster, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copeland, Duke Ellington, Chuck Berry; The Band, as a creative and performing ensemble, are more difficult to place than those individuals but they're in there somewhere, Down Along The Cove, Up On Cripple Creek, Across the Great Divide.