The Levon Helm Band

ACL Live Shots

The Levon Helm Band

Oct. 3, Zilker Park

Levon Helm was on "doctor ordered vocal rest," so he neither sang nor spoke a word. That didn't keep him from his drum kit or a turn at the mandolin while leading his massive 12-piece band. As luck would have it, the rain stopped just before they began, only to start again as they were finishing. In between, there was a boisterous trip through American music, from country to Cajun, electric blues to traditional folk. With a hearty tip of the cap to Helm's former group the Band, things kicked off with keyboard player Brian Mitchell stomping through "The Shape I'm In." From there, vocals were shared by guitarist Larry Campbell; Helm's daughter, Amy; and Campbell's wife, Teresa Williams. Williams poured her soul into "Long Black Veil," and Campbell shook things up with a couple of shout-along blues as well as a horn-laden take of the Grateful Dead's "Tennessee Jed" that mirrored Helm's latest, Electric Dirt. The bandleader got big laughs shaking a leg a couple times; he couldn't sing, but he sure could dance. Campbell's lengthy guitar solo introduced the Band's "Chest Fever," a scalding end to as engaging an hour as the weekend offered.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Levon Helm
Rock & Roll DVDs
Ain't in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm
Ain't in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 13, 2013

ACL Music Fest Saturday Reviews
Levon Helm

Margaret Moser, Oct. 2, 2009

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Bill Callahan
Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest (Record Review)

Abby Johnston, June 14, 2019

Texas Platters
Jackie Venson
Joy (Record Review)

Derek Udensi, June 14, 2019

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Levon Helm

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle