Levon Helm

“And the sun’s gonna shine through the shadows when I go away“:

Growing up my brother and I listened often to our dad’s Band CDs (at some point, it being the nineties, our dad had started replicating his record collection in CD format) so I knew Levon Helm’s songs before I knew he was the one singing. In college I wrote a lot of papers with “King Harvest” on repeat. In 2009, I saw the Levon Helm Band at the Austin City Limits festival. Though it was September in central Texas, there’d been relentless rain all weekend, rain better suited to a dismal April in New Jersey. Perhaps that was someone’s way of ensuring we’d notice when, for Levon Helm’s set, the sky was suddenly dry and clear. As for life advice one could do worse than what Bob Dylan instructed The Band before their first show together: “Just keep playing, no matter how weird it gets.”

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