In a new book entitled Levon Helm: Rock, Roll & Ramble—The Inside Story of the Man, the Music and the Midnight Ramble, Hudson Valley music journalist John W. Barry explores the final chapter of the late drummer’s life with a focus on his Midnight Ramble house concerts and triumphant career comeback.
The book is based on a series of conversations between Barry and Helm that took place “during road trips, in Levon’s kitchen after Rambles and during breaks in recording sessions at Levon Helm Studios.” It chronicles The Band drummer’s recovery from both cancer and bankruptcy and details the role that the Midnight Ramble concerts played in reinvigorating his celebrated career before his passing in 2012.
Related: Phil Lesh & The Midnight Ramble Band Announce Woodstock Anniversary Show At Bethel Woods
Barry worked as a staff writer with the USA Today Network for 25 years and spent nearly two decades as a music writer for the Poughkeepsie Journal in Levon’s adopted hometown of New York’s Hudson Valley. “John Barry was the perfect ‘fly on the wall’ during this great last chapter and final curtain call in Levon Helm’s life,” said Grammy-winning producer, musical director, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist for the Levon Helm Band Larry Campbell. “He was the quintessential observer from the early days of the Midnight Ramble to the end and has brilliantly captured the details and the spirit of that wonderful time in this book.”
Related: Mavis Staples & Levon Helm Perform “This May Be The Last Time” In New Backstage Footage [Video]
Anna Lee Amsden—Levon’s life-long friend from Arkansas and “Anna Lee” from The Band song “The Weight”—added, “Reading this book is like being there, at the Ramble. It’s like Levon’s talking to you.”
Levon Helm: Rock, Roll & Ramble—The Inside Story of the Man, the Music and the Midnight Ramble is now available on Amazon as an ebook and paperback. Click here to find more information and purchase the book.