Photo Credit: Dino Perrucci

John W. Barry has announced the publication of his new book, Levon Helm: Rock, Roll & Ramble–The Inside Story of the Man, the Music and the Midnight Ramble. The novel is based on exclusive conversations and interviews conducted by the Hudson Valley music journalist after the acclaimed musician invited him to chronicle his successes and travails. 

Barry’s book outlines the beginning, development and success of the Midnight Ramble house concerts hosted by the legendary drummer and vocalist for The Band. The author spoke with the musician on road trips, in his kitchen after gigs and during breaks in the recording studio, collecting information that gives the reader an inside look at Helm’s life.

At the heart of the novel are resilience and the belief in recovery, which stems from Helm’s experiences overcoming cancer and bankruptcy, two triumphs that shaped the his later life. 

Larry Campbell, the Grammy-winning producer, musical director, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist for the Levon Helm Band, offered: “John Barry was the perfect ‘fly on the wall’ during this great last chapter and final curtain call in Levon Helm’s life.” He concluded, “He was the quintessential observer from the early days of the Midnight Ramble to the end and has brilliantly captured the details and the spirit of that wonderful time in this book.”

Barry was a staff writer with the USA Today Network for 25 years. He also spent nearly two decades as a music writer for the Poughkeepsie Journal in Helm’s Hudson Valley hometown. The author has also appeared in USA Today, on the Times Union: Hudson Valley website, the Village Voice and the Berkshire Eagle.

The book is available to order now and can be purchased here.

Photo taken by Dino Perrucci and cover designed by Mike Dubois.