I remember when my father first introduced me to The Band. I was pretty young, maybe 7 or 8 years old. I still have the vinyl he played me – their self titled album – and remember him telling me in vivid detail about seeing them live at Woodstock. Today I have been playing it on his old college stereo that I brought with me to New York.

Despite catching on at an early age, at 25 I’m admittedly late to the Band bandwagon. But nonetheless I have always admired how beautiful and humble their songwriting was, particularly in the way it played out in Levon’s voice. They were one of a choice few groups that my dad made sure I listened to, and helped to inspire me to take up instruments and love music from a young age.

I was very sad to hear last night that Levon Helm died of throat cancer at age 71, and thought many of you here were probably saddened by the news, too.

So here’s my small send-off to one of my heroes; thoughts and prayers for Levon and his family.

Editor’s Note: More on Levon Helm from MyFDL’s Elliott