Eric Church and Dierks Bentley are among the performers on the bill for Wednesday night’s Love for Levon benefit concert in memory of the late Levon Helm. In addition to his work as a solo artist, Levon is best known as the drummer for The Band. He also sang lead on their classic songs “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”
Levon also hosted Midnight Ramble sessions at his barn in Woodstock, NY, and Eric Church got to play there about four years ago. Proceeds from Wednesday night’s show will go to save the barn itself. Eric and Levon sat down at the kitchen table at Levon’s house during that trip and got to know each other.
“That’s really when you get to hang out with somebody who’s one of your heroes and figure out that they’re every bit as authentic as what they sing about,” Eric tells ABC News Radio. “It’s truly, it’s very refreshing for me, and probably my favorite gig of all time was that night.”
When asked what he loves about Levon’s music, Eric says, “I think it was authentic. I believed it. I think it bled authenticity. You could just hear it.”
Dierks Bentley is looking forward to sharing the stage with Eric as well as the other acts on the Love for Levon lineup including John Mayer, Gregg Allman and My Morning Jacket.
He says, “It’s kind of like going to the Grammys where there’s just so much music around and different talent, different people from different backgrounds where you really can absorb a lot and have fun.”
Dierks often listens to The Band during late night sessions on his tour bus, and he really appreciates getting the chance to pay tribute to Levon’s musical legacy.
Says Dierks, “When that opportunity came up, it was kind of a no-brainer, even though the schedule’s really, pretty packed, I definitely wanted to squeeze that in and find a way to make that happen.”
Levon Helm died of cancer April 19 of this year at age 71. For more information about the concert, go to LoveforLevon.com.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
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