Phil Lesh & Friends

Review: Halloween Midnight Ramble

Originally, the purpose for The Midnight Rambles at Levon Helm’s Woodstock home-recording studio – otherwise referred to as The Barn – was to serve as a way for the legendary drummer of The Band to recoup money from his mounting medical bills after battling and overcoming throat cancer. Helm’s iconic and unmistakable voice was down to barely a raspy whisper after radiation treatments which forced him into resting his vocal chords.


While he had to rely on his capable band to provide the vocals, Helm was able to return to his signature perch behind his drum kit for what must have provided a cathartic release till he was ultimately able to sing again. Over the years the legend of the Rambles have grown, with everyone from Elvis Costello to Dr. John to Donald Fagen to former bandmate Garth Hudson showing up and sitting in with Levon.

When an invite was extended to head upstate to take in a night at The Barn, as a monster fan of The Band I was salivating at the opportunity to see Levon in such an intimate and undeniably unique setting. Since I couldn’t make it out to Indio for Festival 8, a Halloween Midnight Ramble was the next logical choice. Pulling into the sleepy town of Woodstock in the late afternoon on an overcast and rainy late fall day, we were greeted to a full-on Halloween parade by the locals in the streets of the small downtown area that helped to set the tone and atmosphere for the rest of the evening.

READ ON for more of Jeff’s All Hallow’s Eve experience…

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Cover Wars: Standing On The Moon Edition

While the world celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11, I made the best selection I could to fit the vibe and that is a track off of the Grateful Dead’s 1989 release Built To Last titled Standing On The Moon.

Cover Wars

Many in the Grateful Dead community have hypothesized that the outro lyrics, “A lovely view of heaven but I’d rather be with you” indicated a feeling from Jerry that while he appreciated the band’s success and fans, a part of him wanted to just be out in the crowd with everyone else. Makes sense.

The Contestants:

Big Frog: You may recognize this band from their spot opening for Phish back in 2000 during their Japan tour. The ever-elusive Phish opening act spot. Source: 8-1-2007


READ ON for the rest of this week’s Cover Wars contestants…

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