The Band ft Paul Butterfield Mystery Train

Levon Helm, the drummer / vocalist for The Band, has died after a long battle with throat cancer. He was 71.

Helm was born and raised in Arkansas. He grew up in a musical household where he learned to play multiple instruments. As a teenager, he became the drummer for rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins' band the Hawks. In the early 1960s, four Canadian musicians joined the Hawks: Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, and Garth Hudson.

In the mid-1960s, Helm, Robertson, Manuel, Danko, and Hudson parted ways with Hawkins, at which point Helm became their leader for a short period, they were called "Levon and the Hawks." They made a few records, but none were hits. In 1965, Bob Dylan hired them as his backing band. Shortly after, Helm left the band when Dylan was famously booed during his first electric tour.

In 1967, Helm rejoined the others, and Dylan, in Woodstock, New York. They took up the moniker "the Band". They recorded a series of ragged bootlegs, which eventually became The Basement Tapes, as well as the legendary 1968 album Music From Big Pink. The Band went on to major success with classic songs such as "The Weight", "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", and "Up on Cripple Creek".

The Band toured and recorded until their farewell performance on November 25, 1976 at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. It served as the basis for Martin Scorcese's concert documentary The Last Waltz as well as a live album. The concert featured performances from Ronnie Hawkins, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Emmylou Harris, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood, and several others.

Following the Band's last performance, Helm released a string of solo albums, and in 1989, Helm and Danko joined Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. He also started a career as an actor in 1980, he played Loretta Lynn's father in Coal Miner's Daughter. In 1983, the Band reformed without Robbie Robertson. Manuel passed away in 1986 and Danko died in 1999.

In the late 1990s, Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer. Shortly after, Helm began a series of performances at the Barn, his home and studio in Woodstock, where he performed with an ever-changing cast of guest musicians. His voice recovered, he went on tour, and he recorded 2007's Dirt Farmer and 2009's Electric Dirt.

[source Pitchfork.com]


Cream: Earliest Known Footage

From December 1966. Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton perform a few songs to rattle your neurons. Jam starting at 3:49 is not to be missed.


Carl Perkins and Friends: Blue Suede Shoes: A Rockabilly Session, 1985

Blue Suede Shoes: A Rockabilly Session was a concert that was held on 21 October 1985 in London, England, and featured rock n' roll pioneer Carl Perkins and his house band, along with friends as guest stars, including Eric Clapton, former Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr, as well as Dave Edmunds who acted as musical director for the show. Most of the repertoire performed in the concert consisted of Perkins' classic rockabilly songs from the 1950s. The concert special was originally broadcast on Cinemax in 1986 with introductory comments by Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis. The concert is a memorable highlight of Perkins' later career and has been highly praised by fans for the spirited performances delivered by Perkins and his famous guests.


Today in History March 30

Highlights of this day in history: President Ronald Reagan is wounded in an assassination attempt; The U.S. reaches a deal with Russia to buy Alaska Territory; Actor James Cagney dies; Musician Eric Clapton born. (March 30)


Martin Eric Clapton "Crossroads" Guitars

Eric Clapton demonstrates the limited edition Martin Crossroads guitars and classifies them as "perfect." Guitar Center, in partnership with Eric Clapton and C.F. Martin Guitar, has commissioned a limited edition of three of the finest and most desirable Martin instruments ever made - each hand-crafted to Eric Clapton's personal specification by the C.F. Martin Custom Shop. Constructed from the finest and rarest tone woods, they are available in three versions: a 000-28EC Madagascar Rosewood, a 000-45EC Madagascar Rosewood, and a 000-45EC Brazilian Rosewood available at Guitar Center on March 21, 2013. guitarcenter.com/clapton


The Eric Clapton Stratocaster

Eric Clapton shares his story about "Brownie" or best known as the "Layla Stratocaster"- the first Stratocaster ever owned by Clapton. In collaboration with Eric Clapton, Guitar Center and EMP, the Fender Custom Shop has mastered a replica of Brownie, using references from the original guitar. Offered in a limited edition of just 100 guitars worldwide, the Eric Clapton Brownie Tribute Stratocaster guitar will be offered in America EXCLUSIVELY through Guitar Center available March 21, 2013. guitarcenter.com/clapton


Stars Light up Sandy Relief Concert in New York

Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Roger Waters, The Who, Billy Joel and Alicia Keys perform at the 12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief at Madison Square Garden in New York. (Dec. 13)


Peter Green - Man of the World

After replacing the legendary Eric Clapton in John Mayall's blues breakers, Peter went on to form Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, one of the most successful bands to come out of Britain in the 60's. Peter's genius on the guitar was matched by the songs he wrote including Black Magic Woman, later a huge debut hit for Santana, and the supernatural and sublime instrumental Albatross, as well as the classic 'Oh Well'

The film will trace that early success, explore Peters drug use and his eternal spiral into schizophrenia. The film also examines how the treatment he received, (electroconvulsive therapy), prolonged his illness and extended absence from the music scene.

The story continues with Peters fragile mental and artistic recovery, his return to the recording studio and live music scene in the mid 1990's that saw his most positive creative output for many years, and will portray an artist who has now come to express his feelings, not just through the guitar music he still loves, but also his art and photography.

The film contains extensive and rare archive footage of live and studio performances, stills, and original in depth interviews, with Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Mike Vernon, (legendary producer of the original Fleetwood Mac Blue Horizons albums), Martin Celmins, (Peters official biographer), Carlos Santana, Jeremy Spencer, (the original Fleetwood Mac guitatarist), and many others who were fortunate to work with or know the man.


A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan

Vaughan's old band, led by his brother Jimmie, and a group of big-name blues-rock stars, play tribute to the late-great blues man. Guests are B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Dr. John and Art Neville.

In between the songs are tributes by those guests, and some short excerpts of Vaughan's performances from various concerts. Those excerpts are great, and really show off Stevie Ray's extraordinary talent.

1996