The news became official today. Drummer/singer Levon Helm passed away. He struggled with throat cancer for a long time but battled back to record and perform in recent years. Most of us remember him for his unique combination of drumming and singing in The Band. Those first two albums remain as some of the finest recordings of the last century. The Band would take you on strange journeys mixing folk, country, rock n roll, gospel, psychedelia, old time music and a wide array of other American sounds. Levon Helm stayed active in music and as an actor over the years. Tell me what other vocalist combined toughness, sweetness and soul the way he did. We were blessed to hear his voice, feel those beats and sense his joy. Thank you Levon Helm for your creative gifts to the world.