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24 Reviews
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable album from a remarkable survivor
Normally I would hesitate to give an album 5 stars since - somehow it goes against the grain to say that any record ticks all the boxes and couldn't be improved upon. However I am delighted to make an exception for Dirt Farmer which is so good in every respect that to award it anything less than 5 stars seems curmudegeonly. That Helm has produced such a great record is...
Published on 6 Feb. 2008 by S. F. Eales

versus
4 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this on a whim unless you really know this music!
I also bought this album on a whim! I am a massive Marc Cohn fan and Amazon said that if I enjoyed his latest album 'Join the Parade' I would also enjoy Levon Helm. Unfortunately they have absolutely nothing in common, apart from the fact that they are both American men! I have no doubt that Levon Helm is a very talented artist, but you have really got to know what you...
Published on 20 April 2009 by Liam-P


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable album from a remarkable survivor, 6 Feb. 2008
By 
S. F. Eales "Dogstar" (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dirt Farmer (Audio CD)
Normally I would hesitate to give an album 5 stars since - somehow it goes against the grain to say that any record ticks all the boxes and couldn't be improved upon. However I am delighted to make an exception for Dirt Farmer which is so good in every respect that to award it anything less than 5 stars seems curmudegeonly. That Helm has produced such a great record is all the more remarkable since he has recovered from surgery for throat cancer to make it. And the voice, though maybe a little rougher than it used otm be is in fine shape, whether singing alone or in harmony with his daughter Amy. The material is a mixture of folk, hillbilly and gospel with some R and B flourishes, played with great flair and sensitvity by Helm and his fellow musicians. At nearly 70 years of age Helm is already an American legend and judging by Dirt Farmer has a lot more good music in front of him.
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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 23 Oct. 2007
By 
This review is from: Dirt Farmer (Audio CD)
I bought this on a whim while it was playing in a record store yesterday. Definitely money well-spent though as the disc is full of gorgeous, spare harmonies, subdued guitar playing and the sort of thoughtful and rich songs that are unlikely to trouble the charts any time soon (more's the pity).
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic stuff!!!, 30 Oct. 2007
By 
Ron Unna "unna@ein-carmel.org.il" (Ein Carmel) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dirt Farmer (Audio CD)
This is the best CD that I have had the pleasure of listening to in the last 10-15 years or so. Levon's vocals are as powerful and expressive as ever, and that considering his recent battle with throat cancer! Wonderful songs! wonderful musicianship! Wonderful CD!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Dirt Here - Just Solid Gold, 31 May 2008
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dirt Farmer (Audio CD)
Welcome back Mr Helm.

Warm greetings to you.

.....and what a treasure it is that you've brought with you.

The years fall away more quickly than any of us can control
but memory holds an esteemed and special place for you in
your troubled country's musical history.

Despite your tribulations the voice is in good shape.
Great shape truth be told !
These 13 songs give meaning to the notion of TRUE GRIT
in more ways than one.
Back to basics, no-nonsense, solid-gold authenticity
from first to last.

From the finger-picking opening lamentation of 'False Hearted Lover Blues'
to the heart-breaking closing strains of 'Wide River To Cross' we are
clearly in the presence of greatness.

Along the way the sweet simplicity of 'Anna Lee', the cool humour of
'Single Girl, Married Girl' and 'Got Me A Woman', the breezy optimism of 'Feeling Good'
and the magisterial 'The Mountain' will all amuse, move and thrill you.

If 'Little Birds' doesn't break your heart then you probably don't have one.

Supporting musicianship and production quality is superb throughout.

Magical. Essential. A True Masterpiece.

Highly Recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars he (was) with the band, 28 April 2008
By 
Ms. Fiona Allen "catlover" (edinburgh, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dirt Farmer (Audio CD)
how i wish i could invent a whole new superlative for this disc; i wasn't even that big a fan of the band but this is a small wry, witty, work of brilliance. fantastic harmonies, violins which sound more than human, and some brilliant guitar-picking - The Dirt Farmer has it all - and then some.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Dirt Farmer" digs deep into your heart, 23 Jan. 2008
By 
Will Fly "Will Fly" (Eastbourne, England UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dirt Farmer (Audio CD)
Levon Helm returns to his roots in Arkansas in this acoustic, unplugged album and, after some years of battling with throat cancer, his voice - older and perhaps thinner - is more moving than ever. The choice of songs is superb and the playing - by various musicians on guitars, fiddle, accordion, pump organ, bass, and vocals - is spot on. Many of the vocal harmonies reminded me of the best of the Watersons - with the same integrity and feeling. It's a great album - gutsy and earthy - and I loved it the moment I started to play it. Well recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Levon Helm, "Dirt Farmer", 4 May 2009
By 
Thomas Fairfax "Thomas" (Ilkley, West Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dirt Farmer (Audio CD)
Splendid, raw, authentic bluegrass from a master of the genre, accompanied by an array of expert musicians. Helm's voice seems to come out of the depths of American history - from the Old West, or the Oklahoma dustbowl of the 1930s. The album also has distant echoes of Helm's previous incarnation as drummer with The Band. The stand-out track for me is "A Train Robbery", with its stark, dramatic account of the James gang's attack on the Glendale train. Helm's version of "The Mountain" probably surpasses Steve Earle's original.
A very fine album for all lovers of true Americana.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dirt Farmer - Levon Helm. Feelin' Good!, 17 Aug. 2009
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dirt Farmer (Audio CD)
If you're reading this it's a fair bet you know who Levon Helm is, and you're already familiar with the music he made as part of 'The Band'. This isn't entirely a departure from the sound of the Band, but it's no tired retread of old glories either. The music is rootsy, almost folksy, speaking of things important to the common man. The themes are things that we can all relate to. The musicianship is quality throughout, and accentuates Levon's wonderful voice (and it is a magnificent voice still, despite the throat cancer) but never overwhelms it. Levon's daughter, Amy Helm, does sterling work in the vocal harmonies department, perfectly complementing Levon's voice to produce a wonderful sound.

The standout track for me was 'Got me a woman' - some wonderful opening lyrics. But it is hard to pick a standout form such universally good material. It's been a long wait for this album; I hope Levon doesn't make us wait too long for his next one!

5 stars with no hesitation. Recommended for fans of the Band, Johnny Cash and such.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dirt Farmer, 6 July 2008
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dirt Farmer (Audio CD)
I bought 'Dirt Farmer' purely from an Amazon recommendation and I have to say that it is one of those gems that hasn't been out of my stereo since. It is definitely a grower of an album and gets better with each listen. There is a distinct country feel to this album, which is somewhat of a departure for me, but in no way is it twee or cliched. In fact I'd say this album is a cross between country and American folk, somewhere along the lines of Springsteen's Seeger sessions, but without the big band feel. Levon's voice is perfectly pitched to each story told in the songs and I love sitting back and immersing myself in the music and stories. The whole album is pretty good but the last track ' Wide River To Cross' really stands out for me, a beautiful way to end an album. A great album and well worth a try, I'll definitely be hunting down more from Levon to see what I can find.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gold dirt, 29 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Dirt Farmer (Audio CD)
The Band were unique in the annals of rock in having three great singers . They are all now dead and the CDs are all we have . Rick Danko left one fine eponymous album ( ignore the posthumous Cryin Heart Blues which is a fairly disgraceful set of outtakes and live efforts which he would have probably never sanctioned if still alive ) and there are some patchy live efforts from Richard Manuel which show a once moving voice shot to pieces by excessive Grand Marnier consumption . Levon Helm , however , has left a fine legacy . The bargain twofer of RCO All Stars and American Son is well worth hunting out and a prime example of how good seasoned pros plug in and rock effortlessly . Electric Dirt is a great album which purrs along like a well oiled engine . This album is every bit as good and it's many delights have been eloquently reviewed by others . Classic Americana - file alongside Guy Clark , Townes Van Zandt and John Prine .
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