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Levon Helm’s ‘Midnight Ramble Sessions Volume 3′ Announced

Midnight Ramble
Vanguard Records

Levon Helm‘s musical legacy will carry on with the release of the third volume of Midnight Ramble sessions, recorded at his barn in Woodstock, N.Y. ‘The Levon Helm Band — The Midnight Ramble Sessions Volume 3′ will be available Nov. 20, featuring appearances from Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, Allen Toussaint and the Levon Helm Band.

Helm handpicked each track, including ‘Same Thing’ on which he is featured on lead vocals. This song was recorded in February 2009, 14 months before his death. The communal spirit of these official and unofficial sessions might be the Band drummer-singer’s most lasting legacy, although it’d be hard to choose.

“He wanted to build an environment where music was holding its rightful place,” Helm’s daughter, Amy told Rolling Stone last month. “If he’d had his way, he would have had the Ramble every night. He always said that.”

Helm assembled the Ramble after health and financial troubles plagued his 90s. Daughter Amy recalls how much her father loved the community spirit of performances with original organizers like Jimmy Vivino and Larry Campbell.

“For musicians to watch him, it was a constant reminder of pulling yourself back to that intention,” she said. “Musicians like my father inspire people so deeply not just by doing some incredible, bad-ass thing on their instrument — they make you want to reflect that same [joy], your own version, in whatever you’re doing. That’s the greatest teacher you can have.”

In addition to singing on ‘Same Thing,’ Helm closes the third Midnight Ramble recording with a version of Al Green’s ‘Take Me to the River.’ Tonight (Oct. 3) is the Love for Levon all-star concert, an effort to raise money to keep the barn and studio in the hands of the Helm’s estate. Roger Waters, Gregg Allman, John Mayer and Lucinda Williams are amongst the musicians expected to perform.

Next: Remembering Levon Helm

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