MUSIC NEWS - Kino Lorber announced recently their acquisition of North American distribution rights to the music documentary AIN’T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH: A FILM ABOUT LEVON HELM, an in-depth and intimate look at music legend Levon Helm, who died of cancer in April 2012. On April 19th, the first anniversary Levon Helm’s death, the documentary “Ain’t in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm” will make its USA theatrical debut in NYC.
Levon Helm was in the middle of an intensively creative period in the years just before his death. In addition to establishing the Midnight Ramble concert series as a must-see music experience, Helm’s Dirt Farmer (Vanguard/Dirt Farmer Music) earned the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album in February of 2008, and in November of that same year, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him among The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2010, his follow up album Electric Dirt, also won a Grammy Award in the inaugural category of ‘Best Americana Album.’ In 2011, his live album Ramble at the Ryman was nominated for the Grammy in the same category – and won.
Director Jacob Hatley’s intimate documentary finds Mr. Helm at home in Woodstock, NY, in the midst of creating his first studio album in 25 years. Shot during the course of two-plus years, this highly anticipated film focuses in on the four-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member after his 2007 comeback album, Dirt Farmer, brought him back to the spotlight.
While this period was artistically productive, AIN’T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH: A FILM ABOUT LEVON HELM also shows Helm dealing with the burdens of renewed celebrity, continuing financial obligation and returning health problems. The man known worldwide for his soulful voice, (as well as his singular and unparalleled drumming and multi-instrumental skills), permitted a camera crew inside his home to show the world an intimate side of his art and life.
Of the film, longtime Helm collaborator and musical director Larry Campbell says, “Jacob was the perfect fly on the wall for many months as we experienced the ups and downs of a wonderful time in all our lives. The result is a rare, artful, and honest glimpse into the fascinating world of one of our true American treasures, Levon Helm.”
Mr. Lorber commented: “It was a privilege to meet Levon at one of his last Midnight Rambles and verify personally how insightfully this music-packed film captured the generosity of spirit, the humanity and the immense talent of one of America’s greatest musical artists. We see this as a mission now to be able to open the film, and Levon’s life, to legions of fans, followers and new audiences, who will be thrilled to discover the scope and depth of his contribution