Happy birthday, Levon

An array of local and national celebrities took to the pages of the Times Herald-Record today to wish Levon Helm, who's celebrating his 70th on Wednesday, a happy birthday. Here's Simone Felice (of the Felice Brothers and The Duke & The King):

Levon Helm is the patron saint of Woodstock. So much more than a groundbreaking musician/drummer or a voice on the radio. He’s a back-mountain mystic, an enduring force of nature, like a kung fu master or a heavy rain in the Catskills. In my wildest pipe-dreams as a kid growing up here, doing music, writing songs, I could never have imagined him smiling up at me from his wooden kit after being asked to sing ‘The Weight’ with him and Larry and Co. to my great suprise after opening a ramble. How lucky are we to have his drums still beating, his big heart beating strong, his voice still echoing off these funky old mountains of ours after all these years?

If this sort of thing is your bag, we beseech you to get tickets for Mountain Jam on Hunter Mountain from June 4-6, which will feature a special Levon Helm birthday jubilee this year.

Photo of Levon Helm performing on the Woodstock village green in 2004. From Wikimedia Commons, issued under GNU Free Documentation License.