Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Levon Helm and the RCO AllStars

Levon Helm and the RCO allstars
Levon Helm sang lead vocals, played the drums, mandolin and occasionally the harmonica for The Band from it's inception as Ronnie Hawkins' back-up band and through it's many manifestations. One would expect that just about anything the man touched would be gold.

The band includes Booker T. Jones (keyboards/percussion), Paul Butterfield (harmonica), Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass), and a large horn section that later played on John Bulushi and Dan Akroyd (as "Jake & Elwood" Blues Brothers - Briefcase Full of Blues : Lou Marini, Alan Rubin, and Tom "Bones" Malone), as well as Steve Cropper on guitar. And of course, Levon Helm (original member of Robbie Robertson's "The Band") at the helm with vocals and drums. They debuted on Saturday Night Live on March 19, 1977 as Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars.

The music takes on an R&B tone right from the start with "Washer Woman" to the very last song, "That's My Home." Although Levon Helm is not known for his voice, the music fits him and he uses good expression. My favorite songs are: "You Got Me", "Blues So Bad," and Chuck Berry's "Havana Moon" with a calypso groove to it. The other songs are quite listenable too.

In short, this is a great CD with a fabulous band of musicians "creating an atmosphere that people can have a good time with and even dance to"as the liner notes read. It was fresh and unique and lends itself to listening over and over again!

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