Awesme musician and human being. I saw his Midnight Ramble twice, most recently this January. It was clear then that he was suffering, only sang one verse of "The Weight", his band's closedown-the-night song. Still a magnificent drummer. Great group of musicians -- an all-star band of studio musicians who live near Woodstock, plus a couple of singers who front their own groups.
Had an operation, then went on the road. Played Chicago just a couple of weeks ago.
I'll be playing "Ramble at the Ryman" as I drive home tonight.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/20/arts/music/levon-helm-drummer-and-singer-dies-at-71.html?_r=1&hp#