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Interview:
Amy Helm at Otus Supply, 3 Things To Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Amy Helm comes from music royalty; Her father, the late Levon Helm, was part of The Band and an iconic figure in Americana music even after that.



And that's a tradition she hopes to follow in.



The singer-songwriter -- who was part of her father's Barn Burners and other bands and co-founded the group Ollabelle -- recently released her second solo album, "This Too Shall Light." The set was produced by Rochester Adams High School grad Joe Henry and features a pair of homages to her father as well as interpretations of songs by Rod Stewart, Allen Toussaint, Hiss Golden Messenger, the Milk Carton Kids and others.



The album brings Helm, 47, back on the road, including a show this weekend at Otus Supply in Ferndale...



• Helm says by phone that making "This Too Shall Light" "was a really excellent experience" and gives most of the credit for that to producer Henry. "I was really honored to get to work with Joe Henry; He's been on my wish list for a long time and he was the first person I really thought of when I was getting ready to make another record. I'm such a fan of his productions and in particular how he frames a singer and presents a singer that I really wanted it to be a Joe Henry record and really surrender to his vision and his creative intuitions about it."



• Helm says that the sonic vision for the album was based on the intimate feel of Delaney & Bonnie's 1971 release Motel Shot. "It's an album that sounds just like a bunch of folks sitting in a living room playing a bunch of songs. The performances are very spontaneous, and there's a certain kind of abandon to the sound and (Henry) thought it would be great to make a record with that as kind of a main direction on the compass."



• Helm pays tribute to her father on the album with two tracks -- Levon and the Hawks' 1965 single "The Stones I Throw" and an a cappella rendition of the hymn "Gloryland." "My father introduced me to 'Gloryland,' and I’ve been doing that in my live shows for the past few years, ending each show with what song. It's meant a lot to people, and the power of the lyric is significant. I thought it would suit the intention of this record, and Joe agreed. And with my connection to (her father) and Joe's connection with him, too, it felt like finishing up the circle of the history of everybody and the shared musical respect of everybody involved here."



Amy Helm performs at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at Otus Supply 345 E. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale. Brett Lucas opens. $20 advance, $25 day of show. 248-291-6160 or visit otussupply.com.

Web Site: www.otussupply.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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