Levon Helm documentary coming to SXSW
Friday, February 5, 2010
– "Ain't In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm" will make its world premiere at this year's SXSW Festival.
Directed by Jacob Hatley, the movie forces him to confront the dark times that have haunted him since The Band's demise: throat cancer, bankruptcy, drug addiction and the tragic loss of band mates Richard Manuel and Rick Danko.
Schedule of show times to be announced shortly. This year's SXSW Festival runs from March 12-21 in Austin.
Helm recently won his second consecutive Grammy Award in the category of "Best Americana Album" for "Electric Dirt," his second release on Vanguard/Dirt Farmer Music.
More news for Levon Helm
CD reviews for Levon Helm
Ramble at the Ryman
Time can be a funny thing. Where the passage of decades has made Bob Dylan's voice nearly unintelligible, the years have sanded some of the grit off of Levon Helm's legendary pipes. Yes, we're aware Mr. Helm has had medical issues with his throat, and don't wish to make light of his situation, but those elements have rendered his voice more smooth and supple whereas the best known versions of his songs had a little more grit at their core.
That doesn't mean you »»»
Even when he was a young man, before the years and the ailments, Levon Helm's vocals sounded like they were from a bygone era. It was a voice to make you believe that medicine shows still traveled the earth. That wonderful, weathered instrument is the rustic heart of this new record, just as Helm's ageless drumming is its heartbeat. And despite a title that suggests a more modern program than 2007's "Dirt Farmer," the songs, like their vessel, are mostly from another time. »»»
Levon Helm's music has always been firmly rooted in early American music well past the Carters and Stanleys. This embraces this heritage in its selections of traditional and contemporary Americana. As its title implies, "Dirt Farmer" is earthy with a raw and vital energy. It is Helm's valentine to life and the music that continues to sustain him.
Helm explains in the liner notes his interest in revisiting some traditional songs he grew up playing, including "Little »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: For The Lone Bellow, familiarity breeds even more success
Familiarity didn't seem to breed any contempt for The Lone Bellow. In fact, just the opposite for the New York trio, making its fourth appearance in the area since February.
That has only served to increase the fan base of the rootsy, sometimes country, more often soulful group, as they headlined a sold-out crowd of about 930 at the venerable rock club.... »»»
Concert Review: Foster, Smith finally join forces, fortunately
Years in the talking, long-time friends Radney Foster and Darden Smith finally hit the road together. While the current tour - all one week of it - is on the short side time-wise, the music had not only length, but a lot of depth.
Foster, who has enjoyed a successful recording and perhaps more importantly songwriting career in the country realm, and... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Mandy Barnett has been singing big since she was five years old, gracing county fairs, political rallies and church services with her riveting voice. At 18, she captured audiences' hearts at the Ryman Auditorium with her portrayal of Patsy Cline in "Always...Patsy Cline," channeling Cline's spacious alto. On her new album, "I Can't Stop Loving You: The Songs of Don Gibson," chanteuse Barnett pays loving tribute to Gibson with captivating interpretations of his songs.
Lindi Ortega has come a long way from her urban home of Toronto to her current digs in Nashville. Her songs about murder, love and the things that connect the two are reminiscent of country artists like Johnny Cash. Far from an overnight sensation, Lindi Ortega independently released her first album "The Taste of Forbidden Fruit" back in 2001. She followed this up with a second full length and a couple of EPs over the seven years, including one for Interscope Records.... »»»
A few months shy of his 75th birthday, Del McCoury is at an age when many of his bluegrass contemporaries and peers are scaling back their recording and touring activities or even hanging it up altogether. No rocking chair for McCoury, though, as he remains one of the most active and energetic performers in American music. The latest Del McCoury Band release, "The Streets of Baltimore" dropped in September on his McCoury Music label.... »»»
Days of Gold
Jake Owen aims to satisfy all comers (that is, if the current country is your thing), but the individual pieces don't quite add up. The songs may stand up on their own well enough, but when all is said and done, Owen remains an artist without much of an identity or sound. Take, for example, Beachin',
one of countless country songs about the good life. Like many of his counterparts these days, there's a spoken, neo hip hop rap part to it. »»»
Talk about strange bedfellows. Who would have thunk that Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and singer Norah Jones, who has veered in a more rootsy direction in recent years, would ever have put out a disc, let alone one so refreshing as this tribute to the Everly Brothers? The title is a bit of conundrum. Is the disc meant as a present of sorts to the Everlys, their fans and their musical style? »»»