Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Let's Ramble at Midnight

Levon Helm (the legendary drummer from The Band fame) has shows at his studio in Woodstock, NY.  They're called The Midnight Ramble.  You go, you hang out, and you enjoy the hell out of yourself by spending time in close quarters with amazing musicians in an amazing space.  Everyone brings a side dish of food to share at the community table.   Cool guests like Elvis Costello often stop by.

If you have no idea who Levon Helm is, you probably do and you just don't know it.  The Band was Bob Dylan's back-up band for a time.  They are responsible for such glorious songs as "The Weight" - or, as I called it when I was a kid, the "take a load off Fanny" song - "Up On Cripple Creek," "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," and many, many others.

In "The Last Waltz," The Band's farewell concert film directed by Martin Scorcese, they performed with pretty much EVERYONE of that time.  Neil Young, Dr. John, The Staple Singers, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan (of course), Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Hawkins, and Neil Diamond (who was pretty out of place, but is still worth a look-see).  You MUST watch it, it's important to your cultural, musical, and coolness education.  It's a documentary about The Band and a video of a live performance.  They had to digitally remove a piece of cocaine from Neil Young's nose before they could release it.  If that doesn't scream "GO SEE IT NOW!" then I don't know what else would.  My Uncle Jimmy had been telling me about it ever since I was old enough to buy CDs and when I finally saw it, I've found myself bringing it up in conversation on a regular basis.

I. Need. To. Go.  To. The. Midnight. Ramble. But this is one thing I won't go to alone, if only for the fact that I have to drive by myself late at night in the middle of the woods.  Also, it's a lot of money, so perhaps I will wait until some kind of birthday... orrrrr until next Christmas.  I wish we still lived in a time where things like this happened organically and you didn't have to pay $150 to be around awesome performances and eat home-made macaroni salad.  But, this is the world we live in now.

Still, keep it in mind, everybody!  If you get over 5 people to go there's a discount...

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