Toast to Freedom, a song released to commemorate 50 years of Amnesty International, features the one of the late Levon Helm’s last studio performances.
The song, which will be performed tonight on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, was recorded at Levon Helm Studios in New York and features a laundry list of notable figures, both within the blues/rock genre and elsewhere. In the 7-minute music video, which you can watch below, keep your eyes open for the following artists…
Kris Kristofferson, Angelique Kidjo, Carly Simon, Marianne Faithfull, Eric Burdon, Donald Fagen, Rosanne Cash, Warren Haynes, Keb’ Mo’, Taj Mahal, Florent Pagny, Jane Birkin, Jimmy Barnes, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Shawn Mullins, and even actor Ewan McGregor.
Toast to Freedom was recorded last summer, when Helm was healthy enough to perform. Of the song and Helm’s involvement, his friend Larry Campbell (who also produced the track) had this to say:
“When we recorded the original rhythm track for this, it was such a great day. Everybody was just completely in the spirit of the cause, the spirit of the song and the spirit of the music. One of the great things about working with Levon was he always made playing music a joyful event. And I know he wanted to see this thing through as far as he could.”
For more information about the song and its story, visit its dedicated website.