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Published: 2012/07/23

Phil Lesh Returns to Levon Helm Studios, Jimmy Vivino and Garth Hudson Confirm Tribute Ramble

Phil Lesh performed at Woodstock, NY’s Levon Helm Studios on Saturday night. The performance is one of several big name shows the studio plans to host in order to keep Helm’s barn recording/performance space alive. Besides the Grateful Dead’s long association with The Band, Lesh and Helm performed together a number of times in recent years. They also shared two bandmates, guitarist/singer Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, and Helm’s Midnight Rambles inspired Lesh’s new San Rafael, CA venue, Terrapin Crossroads .

Saturday’s performance kicked off with a Phil Lesh & Friends set. In addition to Lesh, the group’s lineup included Campbell and Williams, Levon Helm Band/Ollabelle drummer Tony Leone and the bassist’s children, Brian and Grahame Lesh, on guitar and mandolin. The ensemble peppered their setlist with some interesting covers, including the Irish jig “Whiskey In The Hay,” The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek,” Johnny Cash’s “Folson Prison Blues,” The Head & the Heart’s “River and Roads” and Neil Young’s “Old Man.”

After a short break, the members of Levon Helm Band took the stage for a tribute to Helm and The Band. Since Helm’s passing, his core band members Campbell, Williams, Amy Helm, Byron Isaacs and Justin Guip have started their own Ramble-inspired outfit called Dirt Farmers. The group was formed to play at upcoming Midnight Rambles. Since Lesh played a special opening set, Helm’s band members mixed some Dirt Farmers material in with traditional Helm/Band numbers for their headlining show.

Partway through their performance, Lesh joined in on bass. He performed on some Grateful Dead song Levon Helm Band regularly covered—“Tennessee Jed” and “Attics of my Life”—as well as “Ripple and a selection of band classics.

In other news, Levon Helm Studios has confirmed a special Midnight Ramble. On August 10, Conan musical director and Fab Faux guitarist Jimmy Vivino will host a special night at the studio billed as “The Band Songs-A Celebration of Richard, Rick, and Levon.” His band will include surviving Band keyboardist Garth Hudson, latter day Band guitarist Jim Weider, latter day The Band axillary drummer Randy Ciarlante and Levon Helm Band bassist Byron Isaacs.

Here’s a look at Saturday’s setlist via

Saturday, July 21, Levon Helm Studios, Woodstock, NY

Phil Lesh & Friends

Cumberland Blues
Whiskey In The Jar
Up On Cripple Creek
Till The Morning Comes
Folson Prison Blues
River and Roads
Bird Song
Old Man
Black Peter
The Wheel
Big River
Franklin’s Tower

Levon Helm Band/Dirt Farmers

Shape I’m In
It’s Too Late
Good news
Poor Old Dirt Farmer
Meet Me In The Morning
Tennessee Jed(*)
Whistle Stop(*)
This Wheels On Fire(*)
Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning(*)
Attics of my Life(*)
Not Fade Away(*)
The Weight(*)

(*) with Phil Lesh

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