And the Band Played On

Farewell to Levon

by PETER STONE BROWN

It was in the spring 47 years ago that my brother brought home an album by blues singer John Hammond called So Many Roads.  It was Hammond’s third album and his second with a band.  The names of the musicians backing him were unfamiliar, though in the next several months we’d find out who they were.  The names as listed on the cover were C.D. Musselwhite, harmonica; Jaime R. Robertson, guitar; Michael Bloomfield, piano; Eric Hudson, organ and Mark Levon Helm on drums.  That album served to lead us to the Chicago blues greats, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, and many others.  The music was loud, maybe even a bit raucous, and there was something about the drums you couldn’t help but notice.

 

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