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Excellent Piece on Levon Helm

My friend Steve Karras–who also was a great friend to my father–has written a terrific piece about the full circle that was the life of Levon Helm. Here is a snippet:

Indeed Helm, who died on April 19th, lived to tell a story, though it reads more like a parable: the cotton farmer’s son who lit out of Arkansas to play rock n’ roll, whose storied climb to fame-and fortune was followed by an equally dramatic descent into heartache and uncertainty after a series of bad choices and betrayal.

Please check it out at Web2Carz.

Above is the great and rather odd lineup of Helm, Rick Danko, Dr John, Ringo, Billy Preston and Clarence Clemmons performing The Weight. The comments say it is Ringo’s first all-star touring band. It must have been a blast.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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