Why Levon Helm Matters: Jesse Sykes, Jason Dodson, Jeff Fielder, and Derek Trucks Pay Tribute In the Weekly

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Jeff Fielder
This drawing of Levon Helm was sketched by Jeff Fielder, a local musician, and organizer of Sunday night's tribute to the late drummer/vocalist at the Triple Door.
We've got a few pieces in the pages of the new issue of Seattle Weekly pegged to Life Is a Carnival: Celebrating the Music of Levon Helm -- Thursday Sunday night's tribute to the late Band vocalist/drummer featuring performances from the likes of Zoe Muth, Lindsay Fuller, and SW's own Duff McKagan. Here's a teaser for you Reverb Readers:

-- In an essay, the talented singer and songwriter Jesse Sykes spells out how the music of Levon Helm and the Band has been important to her since before she can remember: "In my young mind, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, Levon Helm and Max Yasgur all seemed to be of the same era, one far removed from my own."

-- The Maldives' Jason Dodson talks about Helm's influence on his music -- and outlook: "I've always thought of Levon Helm as a kind of father figure. As in the kind of father that would give me the advice and wisdom found in "Up on Cripple Creek." This song to me is about dirty love. And alcohol."

-- And, as a little online extra from Derek Trucks: As I've mentioned here a few times over the last week, I interviewed guitarist Derek Trucks for a preview of the Tedeschi Trucks Bands' show at the Paramount on Friday (read the piece here), and asked him a few questions about Helm, whom Trucks had worked with. Here's some of what he said: "He could play the simplest things, but there was just a spirit to it that was different. (A producer) told me Levon's the only guy he ever heard who could play two and four and could bring you to tears. He was just so human, so of the earth. At the end of the day, the most honest musicians ... are the ones who really leave a mark. Most people are bullshitting you. Levon was not. He was who he was."

 
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