The Midnight Ramble Sessions, Vol. 2

The Midnight Ramble Sessions, Vol. 2

by Levon Helm


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The Midnight Ramble Sessions, Vol. 2

The second installment in Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Music series -- albums drawn from jam-session style concerts held at Helm's studio in Woodstock, New York -- is a more engaging listen than the first, largely because it offers a lot more variety along the way. While the first set was a straightforward blues with Little Sammy Davis fronting the combo, The Midnight Ramble Music Sessions, Vol. 2 has been culled from four different gigs, and the song list ranges from the laid-back but potent funk of "The Battle Is Over but the War Goes On," the rollicking down-home shuffle of Bob Dylan's "Don't Ya Tell Henry," the tough blues workout of "Borrowed Time," and a heartfelt cover of Ray Charles' "I Want to Know" (the set is dedicated to Charles' memory). Helm also brought in some notable friends to sit in for these recordings, including Dr. John, former Chuck Berry piano wizard Johnnie Johnson, Jimmy Vivino from the Max Weinberg Seven, and Bob Dylan sideman Larry Campbell. But the big surprise here is that Helm is singing again, and singing well; he was diagnosed with cancer of the vocal cords in 1998, and surgery and radiation treatments reduced his voice to a shadow of its former self for several years, but if there's a bit more rasp to Helm's instrument today, he sounds stronger than anyone would have a right to expect on his vocal features, and he's audibly jazzed to be able to take the mic again (his drumming is in fine shape, too). The Midnight Ramble Music Sessions, Vol. 2 has its share of flaws, most notably an overwrought performance by Sean Costello on Lowell Fulson's "Blue Shadows," but for the most part this is a set of roots rock that balances ragged and right very well indeed. (This release includes a DVD that features footage of the same performances included on the CD, as well as a bonus rehearsal of "Don't Ya Tell Henry.")

Product Details

Release Date: 02/21/2006
Label: Levon Helm Studios
UPC: 0788572912944
catalogNumber: 2
Rank: 13410

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Levon Helm   Primary Artist,Mandolin,Drums,Vocals
Dr. John   Guitar,Vocals
Johnnie Johnson   Piano
Larry Campbell   Fiddle,Vocals
Michael Merritt   Bass
Jimmy Vivino   Guitar,Vocals
Little Sammy Davis   Harmonica,Vocals
Sean Costello   Guitar,Vocals
Glenn Patscha   Keyboards,Vocals
Amy Helm   Mandolin,Vocals
Byron Isaacs   Bass,Vocals
Tony Leone   Drums,Vocals
Fiona McBain   Guitar,Vocals
Andrew Shober   Bass,Vocals

Technical Credits

Lowell Fulson   Composer
Ray Charles   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Johnnie Johnson   Composer
Levon Helm   Producer,Audio Production
Ike Turner   Composer
Dr. John   Composer
Brian "Terrorizer" Rubio   Cover Art
Paul Diaz   Engineer
Robert Hannon   Engineer
Amy Helm   Producer
Norman Clancy   Executive Producer
Yanni Feder   Video Producer
Ryan Ghent   Engineer
Brendan McDonough   Contributor
Brian Parillo   Producer
Chris Rondinella   Engineer

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