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Much like Bonnie Raitt, Amy Helm combines alt-country, soul and pop influences with a remarkable ability to make other artists’ music her own. The daughter of The Band co-founder Levon Helm, she provides further evidence of those skills on her Joe Henry-produced second album, This Too Shall Light, which was released last year on the Yep Roc label. Allen Toussaint’s “Freedom for the Stallion,” Rod Stewart’s “Mandolin Wind” and Joe Henry’s “Odetta” have likely never sounded better.
Born in Woodstock one year after the festival, Helm has demonstrated her singing and mandolin talents in numerous ways: as a session musician on Steely Dan, Mercury Rev and Rosanne Cash albums, touring and recording with her band Ollabelle, and producing her father’s Grammy-winning Americana album Electric Dirt.
On her current tour, she’s taken to opening shows with Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s gospel standard “Didn’t It Rain” and encoring with a show-stopping rendition of “Gloryland,” the traditional spiritual she played with her father’s Midnight Ramble band up until his 2012 passing. Count on her to carry on in that tradition for many years to come.