Williamsburg's own Bruce Hornsby will be on stage in at Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., on Wednesday, Oct. 3, to pay tribute to a rock 'n' roll original: Levon Helm.
The drummer and vocalist -- best known for his indelible contributions to The Band -- died back in April. Wednesday's tribute concert called "Love for Levon" will feature long list of big names: John Mayer, My Morning Jacket, Ray LaMontagne, Eric Church, Gregg Allman, Dierks Bentley, Marc Cohn, Patty Griffin, Warren Haynes, John Hiatt, Jorma Kaukonen, The Levon Helm Band, Robert Randolph, Mavis Staples, Joe Walsh and Lucinda Williams, among others.
Hornsby said his friendship with Helm stretched back to 1985. The drummer appeared in one of Hornsby's music videos, the clip for his 1988 hit "Look Out Any Window." In more recent years, Hornsby played several of the legendary "Midnight Ramble" concerts at Helm's barn and studio in Woodstock, N.Y.
"I loved the guy for years," Hornsby said by phone on Tuesday. "They just asked me (to play the tribute). It was a simple yes for me. We were old friends."
At the show, Hornsby plans to play on a version of "Anna Lee," a track from Helm's 2007 album "Dirt Farmer." It's a tune Hornsby remembers from when he joined Helm's band on stage at Merlefest in North Carolina a few years back.
"Playing with Levon was always just a joyous occasion," Hornsby said. "He was such an exuberant presence on stage. His groove was just so funky ... You couldn't help but have a good time in his presence."
According to a news release, proceeds from Wednesday's concert will help Helm's estate keep ownership of his home, barn and studio, and to continue The Midnight Ramble sessions.
Here's a news release about the "Love for Levon" concert:
Levon Helm to be celebrated with "Love for Levon" on Oct. 3, 2012
LOS ANGELES (August 23, 2012) – On October 3, 2012, music stars and friends will join together to celebrate the life and music of Levon Helm at “Love for Levon.” The star-studded benefit concert will take place at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey and will feature once-in-a-lifetime collaborations by friends and admirers gathered together to celebrate and honor Levon Helm. Performances will include GRAMMY, CMA, ACM, Americana and Dove Award-winning musicians: John Mayer, My Morning Jacket, Ray LaMontagne, Eric Church, Gregg Allman, Dierks Bentley, Marc Cohn, Patty Griffin, Warren Haynes, John Hiatt, Bruce Hornsby, Jorma Kaukonen, The Levon Helm Band, Robert Randolph, Mavis Staples, Joe Walsh, Lucinda Williams and more performers to be announced shortly. Tickets go on sale to the general public Wednesday, August 29 with an exclusive presale for Citi Card holders beginning tomorrow. All net proceeds from the concert will help support the lasting legacy of Levon Helm by helping his estate keep ownership of his home, barn and studio, and to continue The Midnight Ramble Sessions.
“We are deeply moved that so many musicians and friends of Levon’s are coming together to celebrate his life and his music, and to help us keep his musical spirit and vision alive in the Midnight Rambles,” said Sandy and Amy Helm, Levon’s wife and daughter. “We want to continue to honor his legacy by creating a musical landmark at the Barn, one that inspires and celebrates Americana music and its heritage.”
“We are honored to produce a benefit concert that pays tribute to a musical icon and a beautiful soul, commented show producer Keith Wortman. “Levon’s friends and fans will be coming from all over the world to be part of music history for such a noble and worthy cause to ‘Save The Barn,’ and ensure that the legacy of Levon Helm will live on for generations to come.”
An all-star band will be led by GRAMMY Award-winners Don Was and Larry Campbell who will serve as co-musical directors. Larry was Levon’s musical director for the last several years of his life. The concert event will be produced by Keith Wortman, who most recently produced “We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash.” Tisha Fein will serve as talent producer. The show promoters are Ron Delsener and Jim Glancy, long-time friends of Levon. The event will be produced with the support of the Helm Family and Levon Helm Productions.
With a career that spanned over five decades, Levon Helm was an inspiration to musicians around the world with his deep respect, joy and love for music. Whether he was hitting the Arkansas 4-H Club circuit as a child, to performing with Bob Dylan, garnering success with The Band and nurturing a successful solo career, that included multiple GRAMMY Award wins, Levon was always a passionate performer who captivated audiences with an unmistakable voice and rhythmic power all his own. His Levon Helm Studio has hosted musicians across multiple genres and his creation of The Midnight Ramble Sessions, a series of live performances at his studio, has seen performances from the likes of Elvis Costello, Kris Kristofferson, The Black Crowes and My Morning Jacket, to name just a few.
Tickets go on sale to the general public Wednesday, August 29 at 11:00 a.m. EDT at http://www.ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800.745.3000 and at select Ticketmaster locations. Citi Card holders will have exclusive presale access beginning at 10 a.m. EDT on August 24 until 10 p.m. EDT on August 28. All dates, acts and ticket prices subject to change without notice. A service charge is added to each ticket price. If tickets remain, they will be available at the box office beginning Thursday August 30 at 11 a.m.
For more information about “Love for Levon,” please visit www.loveforlevon.com