Band Touches Earth

“See that storm over yonder It's gonna rain all day But then the sun's gonna shine Through the shadows When I go away” ~ Levon Helm, When I Go Away

I have been listening to a retrospective of Levon Helm’s life and music this morning. He was well loved, and his passing sent waves through my Hudson Valley community where he lived. The Band’s music defined a cavernous slice of my teenage heart. A renewed love for their sound rose up a few years ago when my son played with a band that closed out their performances with “The Weight.”

When I heard Levon Helm’s voice on the radio this morning singing, “When I Go Away,” it reminded me of the time my dad came upstairs to my bedroom just before I left home for college. My room was a teen shrine to the music of the '60's and early '70's. My dad was a musician in his own right, and he appreciated all types of music. He often brought his trumpet up to listen to "my music." That day, I was lying on the shag rug staring at the ceiling, listening to The Band. With instrument in hand, he laid down next to me, and we had a conversation that went something like this:

Dad: What are you listening to on your victrola? My dad always called my record player, a victrola…even though I referred to it as my “stereo.” Me: The Band. Dad: What kind of name is The Band for a band? Me: The perfect name for whatever you are listening to. Dad: Yes, well you won’t forget this dusty sound, they sound like the earth.

Earthy sound. Earthy Day. Keep 'em in your heart.

Credit: Ambera Wellman