Joan Osborne, Nicki Bluhm, Chris Thile: Levon Helm Studios set for outdoor shows

Joan Osborne performs on Oct. 16, 2019, at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

Levon Helm Studios is charging out of the gate with shows in the wake of officials loosening pandemic restrictions on live music.

The Woodstock, New York-venue that was the home of the late Levon Helm will host a series of outdoor shows at the destination known as The Barn. Performances will take place in a field adjacent to The Barn that typically hosts parking during indoor shows.

Joan Osborne with special guest Amy Helm will perform an outdoor Mother’s Day show on May 9. The daughter of Levon Helm, Amy on June 18 will release a new album, “What The Flood Leaves Behind.” Zachary Williams of The Lone Bellow will perform an outdoor show May 15. Rachael & Vilray, featuring Rachael Price of Lake Street Dive, play outdoors on May 23. Mikaela Davis will open the Rachael & Vilray show.

Members of the Midnight Ramble Band will perform with Nicki Bluhm on May 29 and Chris Thile of Nickel Creek and The Punch Brothers on May 30. These outdoor shows will honor what would have been Levon Helm’s 81st birthday. The Midnight Ramble Band features members of the Levon Helm Band.

Pre-sales are being held today, Thursday. Tickets go on sale Friday. Visit levonhelm.com for the whole deal.

Outdoor COVID precautions will include the following: all seating sold in pairs; each pair will be assigned a 5-foot by 5-foot pod; both ticket holders will be asked to remain in their pod for the show; and pods will be marked on the ground and spaced 8-feet apart. Seating will not be provided, so attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Further COVID safety protocols will be emailed to attendees prior to the show.

Levon Helm Studios stands among the many, many music venues that went dark more than a year ago as the COVID-19 pandemic tightened its grip. Public officials clamped down on public gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and in the process strangled that which lies at the heart of live music — drawing people together to celebrate their passion for performance.

Levon Helm Studios is also continuing with its indoor performance space, with shows for audiences that are limited in size because of pandemic restrictions. These gigs can also be enjoyed by webcast.

Set for April 25 inside The Barn is “An Evening to be Grateful” with Amy Helm, Connor Kennedy of Steely Dan, Marco Benevento of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Zach Djanikian from Amos Lee’s band, and Tony Leone and Jeff Hill of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.

A native of Arkansas, Levon Helm was the drummer, vocalist and mandolin player for The Band. He was a member of Ringo Starr’s inaugural All Starr Band and went on to host his incomparable Midnight Ramble house concerts inside Levon Helm Studios. The Midnight Ramble ignited a comeback for Levon that included three Grammys as a solo performer.

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