I haven’t written about Levon Helm’s death, in part because every time I tried, I got all weepy, but mostly because I knew I had this show on the books, and I can’t think of a more appropriate band than the Deep Dark Woods to tie back to Levon.
Because the Deep Dark Woods sound closer to the Band than anyone else playing music today, in a way that makes my heart ache with joy. I’ve written about them before — their set at Bristol Rhythm & Roots in 2010, last year’s stunning record The Place I Left Behind — and I always mention it, how much their harmonies make me think of Levon and Richard and Rick, how Geoff Hillhorst’s keyboards sound so close to Garth Hudson’s that if I close my eyes during their live set, I can feel like I’m hearing some record that the Band never released.
This is all an enormous compliment, for the record.
Last night they played their huge, wide-open songs — they make music that sounds like Saschatewan, their home province — to a small crowd at the 506, and I cried some, and they played the title track from Hang Me Oh Hang Me and it was so gorgeous that I cried a little more. I don’t understand how they’re not famous, really, because they make Americana that is unlike anything else that is being made right now, they play songs that are as clever and delicate as a perfect sunset. The Deep Dark Woods should be famous, and you should be paying attention to them.
(Full set here.)