Word has reached us tonight that the great Levon Helm is in the last stages of death. Levon played drums and sang with The Band in the heyday of 60’s and 70’s rock and roll, doing the smartest and most sophisticated music of almost anyone (not to mention serving as the godfathers of Americana.) Backing up Bob Dylan, they were simply “the band” and they were driven by Levon’s drumming and his soulful vocals. Yes, Levon and Robbie Robertson might have experienced some tensions. But history was made by those guys and it would not have been the same without Levon. Mr. Helm learned of his throat cancer a decade ago but continued to make music by himself and with his huge crowd of friends and fans. We’ll honor Levon this afternoon, pay him our sincerest respects and wish him Godspeed.
We’ve also got a special set devoted to a bright member of the next generation of musicians – Jack White, who has a new record coming out in the next few weeks. It is a good time to take a look at Jack’s work over the last 20 years – as a member of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, his solo work, his movie work and his brilliant productions of the previous generation, including Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson.
We’ll also have music from Ingrid Michaelson, Now,Now, Trampled by Turtles, Ray Wylie Hubbard and we’re going to close with my favorite song from Bonnie Raitt’s new Slipstream – the Joe Henry penned “God Only Knows.”
This and more this afternoon from Great River Radio.
Please join us from 4:15-5:45 p.m. for Great River Radio or later on the blog. I think you’ll like it.
South of the River-Ray Wylie Hubbard
Midnight On The Interstate-Trampled by Turtles
All The Rowboats-Regina Spektor
Seven Nation Army-The White Stripes
Icky Thump-The White Stripes
Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn-The White Stripes
Steady As She Goes-The Raconteurs
Sittin’ On Top Of The World-Jack White
Portland Oregon-Loretta Lynn
Thunder On The Mountain-Wanda Jackson
Love Interruption-Jack White
Don’t Do It (Baby Don’t You Do It)-The Band
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down-The Band
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free-Levon Helm
Listening To Levon-Marc Cohn
God Only Knows-Bonnie Raitt
“And the rocket’s red glare a bunch of bombs in the air gave proof in the night that we still had our flag.
“Oh say does that big banner still wave
over all that is free.
And the home o’er the land
and the land of the free!”
-Lt. Frank Drebin singing the National Anthem
It wasn’t a particularly good week for music. First, we had the “special” Christina Aguilera rendition of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Not to be outdone, the Black Eyed Peas came out at halftime to perform in front of the largest television audience in U.S. history … only to entertain us in a completely unintended way. Slash? You may want to have a word with your agent about expectations for future collaborative projects. But hey, we have the 53th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday. What could possibly go wrong with that awards show? (“Paging Kayne West. Mr. West, please report to the stage when the spirit moves you or whenever Taylor Swift happens to win an award.”)
It’s time to bring some sanity back to the radio waves, which is why Great River Radio is thrilled to be back for the spring semester. We have a lot of catching up to do. There are some spectacular new releases on the horizon, and we’ll give you an inclusive listen to new tracks from Lykke Li, Fleet Foxes, Bright Eyes, Glasvegas, and The Pains of Being Young at Heart. We’ll have new singles from The Civil Wars, Gregg Allman (yes, the Greg Allman), Abigail Washburn, Amos Lee and Over The Rhine. We’ll also have a set of music recognizing the brilliance of the White Stripes, as Jack and Meg White have decided to go their separate ways.
So, join us at 4:15 p.m. (CST) today for the spring semester debut of Great River Radio. We’ll be waiting for you!
I Follow Rivers-Lykke Li
Mississippi Blues-Bob Douglas
The Christian Life-The Byrds
There’s A Higher Power-Buddy Miller
Helplessness Blues-Fleet Foxes
Shell Games-Bright Eyes
Blowin’ InThe Wind-O.V.Wright
Conversation 16-The National
The One-The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
Poison and Wine-The Civil Wars
Little By Little-Gregg Allman
City of Refuge-Abigail Washburn
Seven Nation Army-White Stripes
I Can’t Wait-White Stripes
Portland OR-Loretta Lynn
Runaway Train-Eliza Gilkyson
If I Needed You-Carrie Rodriguez and Ben Kyle
Infamous Love Song-Over The Rhine
Sprawl of Glass-Arcade Fire /Blondie