Rock N Roll Hall of Famer, 2-time Grammy Award winner and legendary drummer for The Band, LEVON HELM, will celebrate his 70th birthday with a special star-studded set to close out the sixth annual Mountain Jam Festival on Sunday, June 6th at Hunter Mountain in Hunter, NY.
Warren Haynes, co-presenter of Mountain Jam, worked with Larry Campbell, long-time Helm musical director, to assemble the star studded set. Along with Haynes and Campbell, performers will include Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, Ray LaMontagne, Sam Bush, Steve Earle, Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers and his father David Hood, Jackie Greene and Allison Moorer, among others. They will join Helm for a marathon performance reminiscent of The Band’s final concert, documented in Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Last Waltz.’
At his celebrated Midnight Rambles, held most Saturday nights at his home studio in Woodstock, Helm has been joined on numerous occasions by rock and roll royalty. The friends and guests joining him on stage at his 70th Birthday Jubilee have been hand-picked especially for this momentous occasion.
Levon and The Band stopped popular music dead in its tracks when they hit the scene in the late 1960s. After touring the world as Bob Dylan’s backup band, Levon and his bandmates holed up in Woodstock, NY – a short drive from Hunter Mountain – forever becoming the resident rock stars of the Catskill Mountains that Levon still calls home. His southern cotton-farm upbringing gave authenticity to the fresh yet timeless music that The Band made during that time. More than 40 years later, Levon Helm is still rolling along, right into his 70th Birthday Jubilee at Mountain Jam.
Mountain Jam co-presenter and Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes, also performing two headlining sets with Gov’t Mule during the festival, has sat in with Helm in the past and will lead the guest list for Sunday’s celebration.
Haynes commented on the celebration saying, “Celebrating Levon’s 70th birthday at Mountain Jam I think will be incredible. Who knows what going to wind up happening but myself, Donald Fagen, Sam Bush, Patterson Hood, Patterson’s Dad, David Hood, Jackie Greene, Steve’s wife Alison Moorer – all these people are going to be part of the celebration.
Levon represents American Music. I can’t think of anyone who represents it more than he does. It’s going to be a one-of-a-kind experience. This is going to be over the top”
Full Warren Haynes interview at: http://wdstvip.com/mtnjam2010/interviews/warren-gary.mp3
Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, also a resident of Woodstock, often plays at Levon’s Midnight Rambles and has joined The Band co-founder on the road. He shares a special connection with Helm: Fagen is married to the mother of Helm’s daughter and bandmate Amy Helm.
Others have history that crosses paths with Levon. David Hood was a resident bass player at the renowned Muscle Shoals studio and played on Helm’s first two solo albums. Patterson Hood met Levon as a child at those sessions.
“Levon Helm is one of my personal heroes, as well as one of our band heroes,” says Patterson.
Sam Bush and Steve Earle, generally regarded as masters of bluegrass and political country-rock, respectively, have both been guests at Levon’s Midnight Rambles. Sam Bush first befriended Helm in 2002 when the musicians both appeared at a Little Feat anniversary concert. “One of my thrills was sharing a little dressing room with Levon,” Bush says. “We had met before but never had time to sit down and have a conversation.” Bush later sat in with Helm at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium and the two musicians have collaborated a number of times over the years–including at one of Helm’s Midnight Rambles.
Prior to his headlining summer tour with David Gray, Ray LaMontagne will join Helm onstage at Mountain Jam. The soulful singer-songwriter is finishing up his fourth album which will be released later this summer. His last album, Gossip in the Grain, debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts.
The New York Times has dubbed singer/song writer and multi-instrumentalist Jackie Greene “The Prince of Americana.” He has toured nationally with B.B. King, Phil Lesh, Ratdog, Susan Tedeschi, Taj Mahal and Buddy Guy. Last year Greene played a series of shows with Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule, including a show in Philadelphia where he sat in on an entire set of Rolling Stones tunes. He has played most major U.S. festivals including Mountain Jam in 2008 and 2009. Greene last played with Helm at a Midnight Ramble in May 09.
Now in its sixth year, Mountain Jam will also feature performances by Gov’t Mule, Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Michael Franti & Spearhead , Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band, The Avett Brothers, Les Claypool, Yonder Mountain String Band, Toots And The Maytals, Matisyahu, Dark Star Orchestra, and Dave Mason, along with dozens of other bands. Other attractions feature an Awarenuss Village, exposing festival-goers to socially and ecologically conscious activities and organizations, sky rides on Hunter Mountain’s ski lifts, and the grand opening of the New York Zipline Adventure Tour, the largest zipline installment in North America.
Mountain Jam On-demand Artist Interviews available at:
Ticket information and a full list of confirmed acts are available at www.mountainjam.com