American Son (album)

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American Son
Studio album by Levon Helm
Released 1980
Recorded At Bradley's Barn, Mt. Juliet Tennessee
Genre Country/Rock
Length 35:20
Label MCA Records
Producer Fred Carter, Jr.
Levon Helm chronology
American Son
(1980)
Dirt Farmer
(2007)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone favorable[2]

American Son is a Country Rock album by American musician Levon Helm, who is most famous for his work as drummer for rock group The Band. It was released in October 1980 on MCA Records, and was Helm's third studio album. This album was generally considered Levon Helm's best solo work until the release of Dirt Farmer in 2007.

Background[edit]

Helm played the part of Loretta Lynn's father in 1980 film Coal Miner's Daughter, and was asked to record a version of Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky" for the film's soundtrack. The session went well, and producer Fred Carter, Jr. decided to cut more tracks. Using a band of veteran Nashville session players, Carter & Helm recorded 20 tracks over 2 weeks, half of which ended up on American Son.[3]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Watermelon Time in Georgia" (Harlan Howard) – 3:53
  2. "Dance Me Down Easy" (Larry Henley, Billy Burnette) – 2:51
  3. "Violet Eyes" (Tom Kimmel) – 3:10
  4. "Stay With Me" (Fred Carter) – 3:03
  5. "America's Farm" (Ronnie Rogers) – 3:09
  6. "Hurricane" (Keith Stegall, Stewart Harris, Thom Schuyler) – 4:04
  7. "China Girl" (Joe New, Jeff Silbar) – 3:19
  8. "Nashville Wimmin" (Howard) – 4:13
  9. "Blue House of Broken Hearts" (Bill Martin, Todd Cerney) – 3:29
  10. "Sweet Peach Georgia Wine" (Ronnie Reynolds) – 3:51

Personnel[edit]

  • Levon Helm – drums, vocals, background vocals, harmonica
  • Jerry Shook - guitar, mandolin
  • Buddy Emmons - steel guitar
  • Kenneth Buttrey - drums
  • Jerry Carrigan - drums
  • Hargus "Pig" Robbins - piano, electric piano
  • Bobby Ogdin - organ, electric piano
  • Billy Sanford - guitar
  • Henry Strzelecki - bass, background vocals
  • Mitch Humphries - organ, background vocals
  • Steve Gibson - guitar, electric guitar
  • Steve Schaffer - bass
  • Clifford Robertson - organ
  • Beegie Adair - piano
  • Todd Cerney - background vocals
  • Buzz Cason - background vocals
  • Buster Phillips - drums

Technical personnel[edit]

  • Jim Foglesong - executive producer
  • Fred Carter, Jr. – producer, arranger, guitar, background vocals
  • Joe Mills – engineer
  • Ernie Winfrey - engineer
  • Bobby Bradley - assistant engineer
  • George Osaki – art direction
  • Andy Engel – design
  • Joo Chung - cover illustration

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
position
Canadian RPM Country Albums 24

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Rolling Stone review
  3. ^ "Levon Helm: American Son". 1995. Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved Jan 18, 2009.