Listen: Celebrating Levon Helm (Episode 1521)

Mark Lavon Helm was born May 26, 1940 in Elaine, Arkansas. Surrounded by music from the beginning, he was fascinated by the sounds that sprang from the Mississippi river delta soil that his family farmed for countless years. His passion for Blues, Country, and minstrel shows inspired him to play Rock ‘n Roll, and the legend formed itself from that point on.

“Levon” incorporated his passion for American Roots music styles into the music he played his entire life; and whether it was as a member of The Hawks, The Band, or in his solo material, Levon crafted a sonic legacy that stands as an everlasting monument that will inspire musicians for the rest of time.

Levon Helm passed away April 19, 2012, and tributes continue to be offered up in memory of the man and his music. In time for what would have marked his 75th birthday, Johnny Full-Time honors one of his biggest heroes with this hour of music celebrating Levon Helm. You’ll hear tunes from the new boxed set of reissued music by The Band, material from Levon’s solo work, tributes from friends and by artists whom he inspired. You can view the complete playlist below.

Levon’s legacy continues, with the upcoming release of daughter Amy Helm’s solo debut, Didn’t It Rain, which comes out July 24, 2015. The first single off that album, “Rescue Me,” was released May 19th. Click Here to Purchase
Scroll down below to watch videos of a few of Levon’s performances. Make sure to share this show and leave a comment with your thoughts and memories!

1. The Band – Don’t Do It (Live At The Academy Of Music, New York)
Capitol Albums 1968-1977 (2015)
2. Laith Al-Saadi – Ophelia – REAL
3. Paul Mark & the Van Dorens – Don’t Ya Tell Henry – Smartest Man In The Room
4. Aretha Franklin – The Weight – The Queen Of Soul (2014)
5. Levon Helm – A Train Robbery – Dirt Farmer
6. Bob Dylan – All You Have To Do Is Dream (Unreleased)
The Basement Tapes RAW (2014)
7. The Levon Helm Band – The Same Thing – The Midnight Ramble Sessions, Vol. 3 (2014)
8. The Band – Rag Mama Rag (Alternate Take/Remastered)
Capitol Rarities 1968-1977 (2015)
9. Marc Cohn – Listening to Levon (w/Levon Helm Band and Greg Leisz) – Love For Levon
10. Stranger Than Swedes – Presence Of Your Soul
Presence of Your Soul: A Tribute to Levon Helm
11. Jimmy Vivino & the Black Italians – Song for Levon 13 Live
12. Levon Helm – You’ll Never Again Be Mine – The Lost Notebooks Of Hank Williams

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Video: Boscoe France Wins Battle of the Blues!

My great friend, Boscoe France, won the Grand Finals of the Guitar Center Battle of the Blues competition in Hollywood, California. Here’s a video of Boscoe performing at the event. Make sure to check out the info below, as well.

The week before he was set to perform in Los Angeles at the finals, Boscoe and bassist John Gillespie came in studio to discuss the competition, as well as The Boscoe France Band, and the state of Blues music in and around Evansville, Indiana.
Click Here to Listen to the Full Interview

Boscoe first picked up a guitar at the age of three. He was influenced by men like Freddie King, Duane Allman, and Elmore James; but none of them had the impact on his playing and life that his uncle, Duke Madison, did. Boscoe fronted Madisonville, Kentucky’s Library Trio, and the band still picks up a gig together now and then; but the other members of the band have ratcheted back the amount of playing out they’re currently undertaking, leaving Boscoe to put together a second band to fulfill his high demand for playing live.

The Boscoe France Band is a trio made up of Boscoe, John Gillespie, and drummer Jimmy Dan Cummings. The band is playing regularly, breaking into new markets, and writing music with the goal of recording the songs for a debut album. Boscoe’s mantra has been “God is good,” and he is absolutely right. Gig info and more are available on Boscoe’s Facebook.