Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars/American Son

Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars/American Son

5.0 1
by Levon Helm
     
 
Levon Helm was arguably the heart and soul of the Band, and his back porch Arkansas drawl gave many of the Band's best songs their strong sense of history and character. Unfortunately, his solo career has been decidedly hit or miss. This set combines Helm's 1977 Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars with 1980's

Overview

Levon Helm was arguably the heart and soul of the Band, and his back porch Arkansas drawl gave many of the Band's best songs their strong sense of history and character. Unfortunately, his solo career has been decidedly hit or miss. This set combines Helm's 1977 Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars with 1980's American Son, and while it is nice to have both in one package, the fact that both albums ended up being somehow less than the sum of their parts is still apparent. Not that there aren't fine high points on both outings -- "Milk Cow Boogie" from the RCO All-Stars sounds like the Band never broke up at all (which in a way they didn't, they simply collapsed like a tent without enough poles in 1976) while "Hurricane" and "Watermelon Time in Georgia" from American Son have a wise and assured air -- but too many of these tracks feel like glorified bar band jams without the passion and conviction Helm brought to the best of his work with the Band. It's all very competent stuff, but lacks spark, and given the talent involved (Dr. John, the MG's, Paul Butterfield, Fred Carter, Jr.), that seems pretty amazing. Raven Records has also issued a best-of the solo Helm years as The Ties That Bind which includes the key tracks from these two outings along with the most successful tracks from Helm's other post-Band projects, and it gains power in the recombined format, sounding like the album that Helm should have made all along. It remains the best introduction to Helm's solo endeavors.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/19/2008
Label:
Raven [australia]
UPC:
0612657027226
catalogNumber:
272
Rank:
41349

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Levon Helm   Primary Artist,Harmonica,Drums,Vocals,Background Vocals
Paul Butterfield   Harmonica,Background Vocals
Buddy Emmons   Pedal Steel Guitar
Steve Cropper   Guitar
Robbie Robertson   Guitar
Tom "Bones" Malone   Trombone
Howard Johnson   Tuba,Baritone Saxophone
Steve Gibson   Guitar
Buster Phillips   Drums
Buzz Cason   Background Vocals
Beegie Adair   Piano
Kenny Buttrey   Drums
Jerry Carrigan   Drums
Todd Cerney   Background Vocals
Donald "Duck" Dunn   Bass
John Flamingo   Background Vocals
Garth Hudson   Accordion
Mitch Humphries   Organ,Piano,Background Vocals
Booker T. Jones   Percussion,Keyboards
Lou Marini   Saxophone
Emmeretta Marks   Background Vocals
Bobby Ogdin   Organ,Electric Piano
Hargus "Pig" Robbins   Piano,Electric Piano
Clifford Robertson   Organ
Alan Rubin   Trumpet
Steve Schaffer   Bass
Jerry Shook   Guitar,Mandolin
Fred Carter   Guitar,Mandolin,Background Vocals
Billy Sandford   Guitar

Technical Credits

Kokomo Arnold   Composer
Earl King   Composer
Bill Martin   Composer
Billy Burnette   Composer
Larry Henley   Composer
Todd Cerney   Composer
Donald "Duck" Dunn   Arranger
Jesse Ehrlich   String Section
Henry Glover   Composer
Stewart Harris   Composer
Levon Helm   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Harlan Howard   Composer
Booker T. Jones   Composer
Louis Kievman   String Section
Sid Sharp   String Section
Jeff Silbar   Composer
Keith Stegall   Composer
Rudy Toombs   Composer
Thom Schuyler   Composer
Dr. John   Composer
Fred Carter   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Peter Shillito   Concept
Terry Reilly   Liner Notes
Joe New   Composer
William Kurasch   String Section

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Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars/American Son 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's great that Americn Son has been rereleased. It brings a high price among collectors. Recorded on the side while Levon was working on the film "Coal Miner's Daughter", some great old country tunes, terrific session artists, and Levon's home-grown soul make for a splendid album. LH and the RCO All-Stars "some of Levon's own favorite artists" features tunes done with more of that down-in-the-groove funk beat that Levon loves to play. On both of these albums, whether the upbeat or bluesy numbers, through it all you hear a relaxed vocalist, who sounds like he's having the time of his life performing.