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coverpic flag US - New York - Full Moon 160 - 10/04/09

Levon Helm
Electric Dirt
Vanguard Records

Levon Helm is undisputably one of the greatest drummers that ever held on to his sticks. Proof is easily found on any album by The Band. In late 2007 he released Dirt Farmer, the first solo album in almost 25 years. That was something of a proof to who might have championed the inspiration from traditional southern American music in The Band.

On his second "dirt-album" he takes it all a bit further, the band sounds tighter and the arrangements are bolder. Here are songs from such varied writers as Garcia-Hunter from Grateful Dead, Muddy Waters and Randy Newman. It feels unnecessary to highlight any special song, but rather encourage anyone with a heart for traditional, funky and soulful music to go down the dirt road with Helm. You'll have a hard time finding anyone as sincere, true to his musical roots and being able to grasp both the joy of good times and the survival through sadness. Most importantly, Helm is able to show us the necessity of music in hard times. And if times aren't that hard, you'll find a whole lot of reasons to dance to Electric Dirt.

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