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Published: 2012/05/21

Jon Fishman, Guster’s Ryan Miller, Steven Bernstein, Dave Grippo, Ray Paczkowski and More Hug Your Farmer for Levon Helm

A number of Burlington, VT-based musicians participated in Friday night’s Hug Your Farmer event at South Burlington’s Higher Ground. A benefit for NOFA VT’s Farmer Emergency Fund, the evening paid tribute to Levon Helm. The show’s house band consisted of Bob Wagner (guitar/vocals), Clint Bierman (guitar/vocals), Peter Day (bass/vocals), Trey Anastasio Band’s Ray Paczkowski (keyboards), Ron Rost (keyboards) and Steve Hadeka (drums) as well as the horn section of Chris Peterman (tenor sax), Adam Dotson (trombone), Trey Anastasio Band’s Dave Grippo (alto sax), Sex Mob’s Steven Bernstein (trumpet) and Luke LaPlant (baritone sax). Both Bernstein—a member of Helm’s Midnight Ramble band—and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin addressed the crowd during the show while Jon Fishman emerged halfway through the night and remained behind the drum kit. Fishman, who called Helm’s Midnight Rambles an emotional experience, once suggested Phish cover The Band’s greatest hits album on Halloween.

Throughout the night a number of featured vocalists took the stage for select songs. First up, singer/songwriter Anders Parker joined in on The Band’s “Stage Right.” Matt Hagen and Mike Clifford then shared vocals on Bo Diddley’s “Who Do you Love?” Later in the set, Barefoot Truth’s Will Evans sang on “Ophelia” and “Evangeline,” Marie Claire sat in on “Evangeline” and Josh Panda led a segment that included “Life Is A Carnival,” “Don’t Do It” and “Caravan.” Guster frontman Ryan Miller, who recently relocated to Burlington, also took the stage near the end of the show for Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”—which the Bard recorded with The Band—and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” Panda returned once again for another song The Band played with Dylan “Baby Let Me Follow You Down,” and the evening’s entire cast appeared on the show-closing “I Shall Be Released.”

Here’s a look at Friday’s setlist via Mike Salvo on etree

Friday, May 18, Higher Ground, South Burlington, VT

Set I;
Up On Cripple Creek
Down South In New Orleans
Further On Up The Road
Stage Fright (*)
Who Do You Love? (**)
Rag Mama Rag
It Makes No Difference
Ophelia (***)
Evangeline (#)
Helpless (***)
Wide River To Cross
Life Is A Carnival (^)
Don’t Do It (^)
Caravan (^)
The Shape I’m In
Forever Young (^^)
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (^^)
Baby Let Me Follow You Down (^)
The Weight

King Harvest (Has Surely Come)
I Shall Be Released (^^^)

(*) w/ Anders Parker on lead vocals
(**) w/ Matt Hagen & Mike Clifford on lead vocals
(***) w/ Will Evans on lead vocals
(#) w/ Marie Claire on lead vocals
(^) w/ Josh Panda on lead vocals
(^^) w/ Ryan Miller on lead vocals
(^^^) w/ everyone

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