Album Details

April 06, 1999
Pop/Rock, Country-Rock, Rock & Roll, Roots Rock

Album Review

Thank heaven for Australia's Raven Records, who with this release have managed to pick up the best odds and ends of Levon Helm's solo career, and by shrewdly mixing in some select tracks by the latter-era version of the Band, have made a suitable portrait of this affecting musician. Helm was arguably the heart and soul of the Band, and his back porch Arkansas drawl gave many of the Band's best songs their strong sense of history and character. Unfortunately, his solo career has been decidedly hit or miss, and with the highlights of that career gleaned and preserved on this disc, it is possible to imagine what could have been. Tracks that seemed dead in the water in their original album settings pick up a contextual glow here, and Helm's versions of songs like "Take Me to the River" and "Willie and the Hand Jive" don't sound quite so tired and lifeless in this sequence, while the opener, "Milk Cow Boogie," sounds like the Band never broke up at all (which in a way they didn't, they simply collapsed like a tent without enough poles). The two songs that close the disc, "Hurricane" and "Watermelon Time in Georgia," take on a wise and assured air in this context, and The Ties That Bind ends up sounding like the album that Helm should have been making all along. Again, kudos should be given to Raven Records for this wonderful reclamation.
Steve Leggett, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Milk Cow Boogie
  2. The Weight
  3. Atlantic City
  4. The Tie That Binds
  5. You Got Me
  6. Even a Fool Would Let Go
  7. Willie and the Hand Jive
  8. Lucrecia
  9. The Caves of Jericho
  10. Don't Ya Tell Henry
  11. Take Me to the River
  12. Livin' in a Dream
  13. Rock Salt and Nails
  14. Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)
  15. Stand Up
  16. Standing on the Mountain Top
  17. When I Get My Rewards
  18. Hurricane
  19. Watermelon Time in Georgia