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Ramble At The Ryman by Levon Helm
Released: May 2011
Label: Vanguard Records
Recorded at the legendary auditorium in Nashville, the thoroughly star-studded Ramble at the Ryman is more than an excellent live album; it's a sweeping panorama of America's richly mongrelized musical landscape. This becomes obvious very early on, specifically when Levon Helm's scratchy Arkansas bark weaves its way through loopy New Orleans brass on The Band classic "Ophelia." Another highlight is "Baby Scratch My Back," a horny house-blues groover featuring Little Sammy Davis. The only real misfire is "Evangeline," on which Sheryl Crow attempts, but fails, to fill Ms. Emmylou's shoes.
Justin Farrar
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