Levon Helm’s barn hosted its first concert last night since the legendary drummer’s passing in April of this year. On the night of what would have been Helm’s 72nd birthday, members of The Levon Helm Band performed in various configurations to honor his life and to celebrate his birthday through music. A statement about the concert posted to Helm’s Facebook page yesterday read:
The show will be very organic and will be very different from a Ramble. The music and being with friends, family and fans will be part of the healing process. This is how Levon would’ve wanted it. He wouldn’t want those four walls to be silent…The ‘barn’ will definitely resonate with love tonight.
To start off the evening a truncated version of Helm’s band appeared onstage, which consisted of his daughter Amy, Larry and Teresa Campbell, bassist Byron Isaacs along with chief Levon Helm Studios sound engineer Justin Guip on drums. Before the performance began, a tiny voice belonging to Amy Helm’s son could be heard calling out “Sing for us, Mommy!” alleviating some of the pressure in the room. Shortly after, the barn resumed its typical musical proceedings, with guests including The Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian and iconic folk artist Happy Traum appearing to pay tribute to their fallen friend.
“We all felt Levon in the room… and we know his heart was full of joy that there was music in the Barn yet again,” said one fan who attended the performance. “There was life in that room.”