Sunday, April 22, 2012

What we can learn from Levon Helm

As everyone knows by now, we lost a great Musician, Bandleader, Drummer, Singer, etc. this week.
I have been thinking about Levon Helm a lot. I never got to see him live but nonetheless learned so much from him from recordings and video footage.

I believe the main thing I learned from him was, above all else, be yourself! I never heard Mr. Helm sound phony or "clever", or insincere. Ever! He always accepted his playing and delivered it as honestly as he could. I believe that's why his playing and singing touched so many.

It's funny, I had a very good gig with John Tank at the Registry Theatre in Kitchener-Waterloo. it's a nice place to play, the band and the tunes were good but I think the main reason it felt successful to me is that I just accepted and enjoyed what I was playing without questioning it. I wasn't trying to be someone else, and even when I made an error, I just corrected it and moved on. I felt very free in the music because I wasn't second guessing myself all the time. Thanks to the examples of  Levon Helm, I hope to someday play as honestly and from the heart as he always did.

Here's a great interview featuring his eloquence and humility.....
God bless Levon Helm!

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