Friday, May 20, 2011

Levon Helm & moe. - Midnight Ramble - 03.12.11

I'm playing a little catchup since my life revolved around the wedding for the past few months. Even though I was busy there was still a little time to squeeze in a couple shows here and there. One show, or should I say experience, trumped them all. On a cold week in March we made the pilgrimage to Woodstock for a Midnight Ramble at Levon Helm's barn. The opening band just happened to be moe.

Levon, drummer of The Band, has called Woodstock home for quite some time. During the late sixties Bob Dylan and the The Band could be found in this quaint town making music history. It's no wonder why they called this town home. You really need to stroll through the heart of town to understand it's charm, where both locals and out of towners enjoyed the sunny, brisk day.

Although the town itself was worth the trip, most visitors made the trek for one reason: Levon's Midnight Ramble with moe. So what is a Midnight Ramble you ask? Well, I'll let Levon explain it:

When the opportunity to see moe. play a ramble presented itself I knew I had to be there. Tickets didn't last long since moe. draws well in the area. Fortunately they were secured and we were on our way to see a living legend entertain us in his home studio (BIG THANKS TO DON!!!!!). The website says not to show up to the property until after 6pm, but we couldn't resist the urge to snap a couple pictures in the daylight:

With a little bit of time to kill before dinner there was one more mission that needed to be accomplished: Find Big Pink. It's very possible you've never heard of Big Pink, but I'm sure you've heard at least one piece of music written there:

A quick google search will get you the address and directions. Since it's a private property and you have to drive down a narrow winding road to reach Big Pink you get the feeling trouble could be waiting at the end. After all, how would you feel to have trespassers? We were respectful and stayed just long enough to snap a couple pics and let our minds wander a bit:

After a great meal a Joshua's, it was finally time to get down. Pulling into the "lot" felt more like a backyard BBQ than anything else. The empty fire pit we saw earlier in the day was going strong. I'll never forget the smell of that fire mixed with the fresh mountain air. It was calling you inside to the party.

I will say the tickets are expensive at $125 to $150, but it is worth every penny for obvious reasons. As an added bonus you can bring beer, wine, whiskey, or your drink of choice and go in and out as you please to fill your cup (I chose a cooler full of homebrews!). The community table is filled with free food from all over the place too. So I think it's safe to say the high ticket price is trivial. GO if you have a chance. Don't even think about it!

What can be said about the music played in the barn other than it represented everything that's right about live music. The line between performer and audience is non existent, which is something that truly makes live music much more special in my eyes. moe. gave us what we came for: A set mixing old and new with enough jamming to satisfy. Rebubla was great, but I think Downward Facing Dog was my highlight.

Levon is amazing. This was the second time I've seen him perform and the man rocks harder at 70 than most have in their entire lives. The night went too fast, but I do remember highlights being Ophelia, Deep Elum Blues, Attics of My Life and obviously The Weight with Chuck and Al. Out of respect for Levon there was no recording on this night. It was meant to be that way... some things are meant to stay inside the barn.

No comments:

Post a Comment