"One of my duties on Mountain Stage is to greet our guests on arrival and assist them in getting their gear to the stage. I greeted Doc Watson and David Holt when they pulled in to the show in Bristol, TN/VA. I said "Doc, welcome back to Mountain Stage. May I carry anything in for you?" He said, "How come nobody ever offers to carry me in?" David said, "Doc, He’s a pretty big fella. I think he can do it." Doc smiled, stuck out his hand for me to shake and said, "My guitar will be fine." — Joey Ansel, Mountain Stage Production Assistant

Backstage photos from this week’s broadcast.

Coming soon to a Tumblr feed near you: our latest “Backstage at Mountain Stage” video, featuring Patterson Hood. Although as is usually the case, “backstage” is a bit of a misnomer, since I like to include just as much footage of Patterson’s performance as interview in the finished video.

Coming soon to a Tumblr feed near you: our latest “Backstage at Mountain Stage” video, featuring Patterson Hood. Although as is usually the case, “backstage” is a bit of a misnomer, since I like to include just as much footage of Patterson’s performance as interview in the finished video.

Levon Helm, live on Mountain Stage, 1996

"I first heard Levon Helm’s voice in 1968 on The Band’s album “Music from Big Pink”. Ray Wylie Hubbard turned me on to the record when I came home to Dallas from college that summer. I was immediately drawn into a sound that was unlike anything I had ever heard. “The Weight” became my favorite song. With their landmark second album, The Band became my favorite band, their voices a mix of the raw and the sublime, their songs a mix of the old Deep South and the mystical Far North.
I came to know Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel when they played on albums I recorded in the early eighties in Los Angeles. Later, after Richard was gone, Rick Danko and Garth visited Mountain Stage for some wonderful performances. But I met Levon only twice, in 1994 and 1996, when the reformed Band played Mountain Stage in Charleston.
As I listen to his vocals on “Rag, Mama, Rag”, “Blind Willie McTell” and “The Weight” from the 1996 show, it’s hard to imagine anyone else trying to sing those songs. Of course, everybody does try to sing “The Weight”, but we all suffer by comparison. Levon’s voice is for the ages. I can hear traces of Pops Staples and fellow Arkansan Ronnie Hawkins, influences from both sides of the big river that flowed near his home. Conway Twitty, like Levon, grew up in Helena and Johnny Cash not far away in Kingsland. Powerful voices came out of that Arkansas dirt.
Levon had a very successful solo career, with Grammy winning albums and the Midnight Ramble sessions, but his work as a singer, drummer and mandolin player with The Band will stand as some of the most true and  important American music ever made.”

-Larry Groce

Levon Helm, live on Mountain Stage, 1996

"I first heard Levon Helm’s voice in 1968 on The Band’s album “Music from Big Pink”. Ray Wylie Hubbard turned me on to the record when I came home to Dallas from college that summer. I was immediately drawn into a sound that was unlike anything I had ever heard. “The Weight” became my favorite song. With their landmark second album, The Band became my favorite band, their voices a mix of the raw and the sublime, their songs a mix of the old Deep South and the mystical Far North.

I came to know Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel when they played on albums I recorded in the early eighties in Los Angeles. Later, after Richard was gone, Rick Danko and Garth visited Mountain Stage for some wonderful performances. But I met Levon only twice, in 1994 and 1996, when the reformed Band played Mountain Stage in Charleston.

As I listen to his vocals on “Rag, Mama, Rag”, “Blind Willie McTell” and “The Weight” from the 1996 show, it’s hard to imagine anyone else trying to sing those songs. Of course, everybody does try to sing “The Weight”, but we all suffer by comparison. Levon’s voice is for the ages. I can hear traces of Pops Staples and fellow Arkansan Ronnie Hawkins, influences from both sides of the big river that flowed near his home. Conway Twitty, like Levon, grew up in Helena and Johnny Cash not far away in Kingsland. Powerful voices came out of that Arkansas dirt.

Levon had a very successful solo career, with Grammy winning albums and the Midnight Ramble sessions, but his work as a singer, drummer and mandolin player with The Band will stand as some of the most true and  important American music ever made.”

-Larry Groce