Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Levon Helm: The Man Behind the Drums by Robert Earl Keen

One of the best songs on The Rose Hotel, which is the great new album from Robert Earl Keen, is his tribute to Levon Helm called The Man Behind the Drums. All of the songs on the album are excellent, but this one has special meaning for me. As anyone who reads this blog can tell, I am a huge fan of The Band (see posts from Sept 20, 2009 and April 14, 2009). It is treat for me to hear Robert singing about my favorite drummer Levon Helm.

The song was written by Robert and his bass player Bill Whitbeck about the night they played at Levon's Midnight Ramble. Hope you enjoy it. Listen here to The Man Behind the Drums
I know a little bit about the origins of this song. In September of 2008, Robert played two dates in New York. The first was in the City and I was lucky to be in attendance that night. The next night, they played in Woodstock as the opening act at Levon's Midnight Ramble. I had planned to go, but changed my mind at the last minute. Robert and his band had a great time that night. They even got to join Levon on stage for the ultimate camp fire sing-a-long The Weight. As you can imagine, I am still regretting not tagging along.

If you like what you hear on this track, check out the rest of the music on The Rose Hotel.


  1. Nice info about The Man Behind the Drums. . just listened to it for the first time about 2 seconds ago on my ipod. . was half listening, then I put the lyrics "LEVON" and "DRUMS" and just googled the song and my initial thought was right - it IS about Levon Helm!

    Be sure everyone checks out his appearance as the a very interesting blind man in Tommy Lee Jone's "Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada." It's NOT to missed.

  2. Missing the chance to go to Levon's Midnight Ramble was a big mistake.