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Levon Helm "Thrilled" Black Crowes Will Record New LP at His Ramble Studio

December 29, 2008 10:45 AM ET

The Black Crowes will record new, original material for an upcoming album during four sold-out concerts at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York, in February and March. This run of performances at the recording studio built decades ago by the 2008 Grammy winner and former drummer for the Band are being billed as "Cabin Fever Winter 2009." The shows on February 21, 22, 28 and March 1 sold out in less than two days.

"We're thrilled," Helm, who's not scheduled to perform, tells Rolling Stone. "It kind of shows me that we're doing things right." Over the last few years Helm has staged "Midnight Ramble" house concerts at the studio — Saturday night performances Rolling Stone named Best Jam Session that feature special guests sitting in with the Levon Helm Band, including Elvis Costello, Phish bassist Mike Gordon and Crowes frontman Chris Robinson. Prior to singing on "Shake Your Money Maker" and "The Weight" last August, Robinson milled about in the crowd throughout the evening.

"When Chris sat in, it was just more of that good stuff," Helm says. "His contribution just added to the whole mix. The whole night was a high point." The Black Crowes have another tie to the area, too: they recorded this year's Warpaint at nearby Allaire Studios. David Fricke profiled the band for a Rolling Stone story earlier this year in which Rich Robinson admitted his relationship with brother Chris is still difficult: "Outside of music, we probably would never speak to each other."

Related Stories:
The Band Drummer Levon Helm Rambles On
Black Crowes Sue Gretchen Wilson Over "Saving Grace" Commercial
Levon Helm Battles Back From Cancer and Tragedy

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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