The Band
Home

History
Members
Library
Discography
Videography
Filmography
Pictures
Audio files
Video clips
Tape archive
Concerts
Related artists
Merchandise
Guestbook
Chat Room
What's New?
Search

The Band: Live at the Academy of Music 1971

Levon Helm: Ramble at the Ryman

The Band: Three of a Kind

Robbie Robertson: How to Become Clairvoyant

Garth Hudson Presents a Canadian Celebration of The Band

Levon Helm: Electric Dirt

Garth and Maud Hudson: Live at the Wolf

Pulse

Dirt Farmer

Elliot Landy's Woodstock Vision

Dirt Farmer Liner Notes


Liner notes and song credit details for Levon Helm's 2007 album Dirt Farmer This text is copyrighted, please do not copy or redistribute.


The last few years have proven to me that we truly live in an age of miracles. After surgery for throat cancer in 1998, twenty-eight radiation treatments plus 3 to 4 years filled with the power of prayers and kind wishes, I started to try and sing, doubling Little Sammy Davis and Amy at the Barn Burner shows. In reality this was the second miracle during a hard period of my life. The first was to rebuild the barn studio after it was over eighty percent destroyed by fire. Around this time we also lost my brother Rick Danko.

I never thought you would be able to hear the sound of the barn studio again. Now I believe the studio sounds better than ever and my voice is over halfway back. Amy encouraged me to go all the way back and try to record some of the family songs from home that we always loved best.

My Mom and my older sister Modena were wonderful soprano, alto and high tenor church singers. My father could play guitar and sing bass and tenor. They taught my baby sister Linda and myself the basics of music and music making. I bought a guitar from Mr. Maurice Gist at "Gist Music Company" in Helena, Arkansas on the payment plan. And after making my sister Linda a washtub bass fiddle, we promptly learned to play our way out of schoolwork and farm chores.

"The Girl I left Behind" was one of the first songs my parents taught me as a child, along with "Little Birds," "Blind Child," and the beginnings of church house music. "Little Birds" is another true story song. These real life dramas, sung into songs, were Mom and Dad's favorite kind. Everything else sounded like something someone made up. "Little Birds" in particular was my first understanding of harmonies, and how they should stack, parallel and support each other.

Larry Campbell brought in "False Hearted Lover" which was my opportunity to pay tribute to The Stanley Brothers. I can't ever remember not hearing The Stanley Brothers. God bless em', they've taught us all.

"The Poor Old Dirt Farmer" is a song that my wood-carver/musician friend Michael Copus and I learned together when we worked with Jane Fonda on the Dan Petrie directed film, The Dollmaker down in the heart of the Smokey Mountains, Gatlinburg, TN. Growing up on a cotton farm in the Arkansas Delta, "Dirt Farmer" rings true to home.

"A Train Robbery" and "Got Me a Woman" are two great Paul Kennerley tunes. Paul first taught me these songs out in California when we worked with Jesse Ed Davis, Albert Lee, Emery Gordy, Glen Johns, Emmy Lou Harris and all of the other great people who got to play with Paul on The Legend of Jesse James. After working with Paul I can't resist his music, and I'll always treasure his friendship.

One day, while watching Amy Goodman's Democracy Now, she closed the show with Steve Earle's "The Mountain." We cut it that afternoon. Steve Earle... what a great American music maker!

"Single Girl, Married Girl" is one of my favorite songs of the whole session. It gave us the chance to address a traditional standard with the entire rhythm section using non-electric instruments and a full set of drums. It also gave us a chance to monkey up the rhythm of a traditional country beat.

"Feelin' Good" popped up one day when we were talking about J. B. Lenoir flavored guitar licks and rhythm patterns. That led us to one of J. B.'s all-time best. All young musicians should sprinkle any dance gig with lots of J. B. songs. Might as well play some good ones while you're learning how.

Last summer Riley Bagus and company brought Laurelyn Dossett's song "Anna Lee" here with them. While they all took a swim in the creek, we got a great cut on "Anna Lee."

Thanks to Julie and Buddy Miller for helping me sing "Mountain" and allowing me to cut their beautiful, and already a standard, "Wide River to Cross." I'll love them forever for giving Dirt Farmer all of their heart.

Byron Issacs played wonderful bass parts and deserves M.V.P. honors for rounding out the rhythm section. As an added bonus he wrote "Calvary" and gave Amy and Theresa another opportunity to create a one of a kind arrangement. Their choice of notes and beautiful harmonies were always perfect for these songs. Their natural blend is another gift. We tried to let the songs dictate the instrumentation and our performances.

I'd like to thank Larry Campbell for being the master musician he is and Brian Mitchell for always choosing the right parts, whether he is playing piano or accordion. Their playing always set a high mark for us all to play up to, and everyone hit the mark. I'd also like to thank Amy Helm, Byron Isaacs, Teresa Williams, George Recile, and Glenn Patcha. Special thanks go to Larry and Amy for shepherding the project and Justin Guip for a great engineering and mixing job. We couldn't have had a better team, especially Barbara O'Brien and all of the LHS staff for keeping our spirits up and helping to bring the project to fruition. Thanks again for all of your continued prayers and support. We hope you like The Dirt Farmer Sessions and I love you all for giving us a fair hearing.

--Levon Helm

1. FALSE HEARTED LOVER BLUES
(Traditional, arrangement by Levon Helm, Larry Campbell)

Levon Helm: Vocal, Drums
Byron Isaacs: Bass
Larry Campbell: Acoustic Guitar, Resonator Guitar, Mandolin
Glenn Patscha: Pump Organ
George Receli: Percussion

2. POOR OLD DIRT FARMER
(Traditional, arrangement by Levon Helm,Larry Campbell)

Levon Helm: Vocal, Drums
Amy Helm: Mandola, Backing Vocal
Byron Isaacs: Bass, Backing Vocal
Brian Mitchell: Accordian, Backing Vocal
Larry Campbell: Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle, Backing Vocal
George Receli: Percussion

3. THE MOUNTAIN
(Steve Earle); WB Music Music Group (ASCAP)

Levon Helm: Vocal, Drum
Julie Miller: Harmony Vocal
Buddy Miller: Harmony Vocal
Byron Isaacs: Bass
Brian Mitchell: Piano
Larry Campbell: Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin
Glenn Patscha: Pump Organ

4. LITTLE BIRDS
(Traditional, arrangement by Levon Helm, Amy Helm, Larry Campbell)

Levon Helm: Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
Amy Helm: Harmony Vocal
Teresa Williams: Harmony Vocal
Byron Isaacs: Bass
Larry Campbell: Fiddles, Mandolin, Dulcimer

5. THE GIRL I LEFT BEHIND

Levon Helm: Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
Amy Helm: Drums
Byron Isaacs: Bass, Backing Vocal
Brian Mitchell: Accordian, Backing Vocal
Larry Campbell: Mandolin, Fiddle, Backing Vocal

6. CALVARY
(Byron Isaacs); BMI Music

Levon Helm: Vocal, Drums
Amy Helm: Harmony Vocal
Teresa Williams: Harmony Vocal
Byron Isaacs: Bass
Brian Mitchell: Piano
Larry Campbell: Acoustic Guitar, Resonator Guitar, Mandolin
Glenn Patscha: Pump Organ
George Receli: Percussion

7. ANNA LEE
(Laurelyn Dossett); Pleasant Garden Music, (ASCAP)

Levon Helm: Vocal
Amy Helm: Harmony Vocal
Teresa Williams: Harmony Vocal
Larry Campbell: Fiddle

8. GOT ME A WOMAN
(Paul Kennerley); Irving Music Inc. OBO
Radnor Music LTD (BMI)

Levon Helm: Vocal, Mandolin
Amy Helm: Drums
Teresa Williams: Backing Vocal
Byron Isaacs: Bass
Brian Mitchell: Piano
Larry Campbell: Acoustic Guitar, Resonator Guitar, Backing Vocal
George Receli: Percussion

9. A TRAIN ROBBERY
(Paul Kennerley); Irving Music Inc. (BMI)

Levon Helm: Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
Amy Helm: Backing Vocal, Percussion
Teresa Williams: Backing Vocal
Byron Isaacs: Bass, Percussion, Backing Vocal
Brian Mitchell: Accordian
Larry Campbell: Resonator Guitar, Dulcimer, Percussion
Glenn Patscha: Pump Organ
George Receli: Percussion

10. SINGLE GIRL, MARRIED GIRL
(A. P. Carter); Peer International Corporation (BMI)

Levon Helm: Vocal, Drums
Amy Helm: Harmony Vocal
Teresa Williams: Harmony Vocal
Byron Isaacs: Bass
Brian Mitchell: Piano
Larry Campbell: Acoustic Guitar, Resonator Guitar

11. THE BLIND CHILD

Levon Helm: Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
Amy Helm: Harmony Vocal
Byron Isaacs: Bass
Brian Mitchell: Accordian
Larry Campbell: Mandolin, Fiddle

12. FEELIN GOOD
(J. B. Lenoir); Arc Music Corporation (BMI)

Levon Helm: Vocal, Drums
Amy Helm: Duet Vocal, Mandolin
Byron Isaacs: Bass
Larry Campbell: Acoustic Guitar

13. WIDE RIVER TO CROSS
(Buddy Miller, Julie Miller); Bug
Music OBO My Blind Driver Music (BMI)

Levon Helm: Vocal
Amy Helm: Harmony Vocal, Piano,
Teresa Williams: Harmony Vocal
Byron Isaacs: Bass
Glenn Patscha: Pump Organ
Larry Campbell: Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle


Produced by Larry Campbell and Amy Helm
Recorded and mixed by Justin Guip at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY
Mastered by Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab in Ojai, CA
Cover photography by
Inside photography by
Art direction and package design by Carrie Smith
Creative Services: Georgette Cartwright


[History] [Members] [Library] [Discography] [Videography] [Filmography] [Pictures] [Audio Files] [Video Clips] [Tape Archive] [Concerts] [Related Artists] [Merchandise] [Guestbook] [Chat Room] [Search] [What's New?] [Main Page]

Webmaster