Amy Helm Releases Debut Solo Album
"The past few years have been profoundly transformative for me, so I wanted to tell some of those stories as honestly as I could," Helm says. "I thought about the people I had lost and things that had fallen apart and things that were coming together, and that influenced the way I sang these songs."
Levon Helm helped his daughter record Didn't It Rain, serving as the executive producer as well as adding his signature drum sound, on what would turn out to be his final session. He passed away on April 19, 2012, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
"He was the best teacher, in so many ways," Amy Helm boasts of her father. "He wasn't interested in overthinking anything; all he cared about was playing music. He saw himself as a working musician, and it was serious business, and it had to be right.
"Playing side by side with him in the Ramble band for 10 years, and building those shows with him, really changed the way I approached things," she adds, "and his humility influenced and shaped me as a musician, as it did everyone who played with him."
The 44-year-old credits her father with giving her the courage to pursue music as a career.
"I always did gigs through high school and college, but my fears and insecurities kept me from committing to it," Helm says. "That's when my dad became a huge influence; he scooped me up when I was in my mid-20s and put me in this blues band. I was very, very green, but I got my road-dog status with him. It was like walking through fire every time I got on stage, but it forced me to decide if I wanted to do this. And I decided that I absolutely wanted to do it."
Helm and her band, the Handsome Strangers, will embark on a fall tour, which will kick off on Oct. 1 in San Francisco, Calif. Dates are listed on her website.
Amy Helm, Didn't It Rain Track Listing:
1. "Didn't It Rain"
2. "Rescue Me"
3. "Good News"
4. "Deep Water"
5. "Spend Our Last Dime"
6. "Sky's Falling"
7. "Gentling Me"
8. "Roll Away"
9. "Sing to Me"
10. "Roll the Stone"
11. "Heat Lightning"
12. "Wild Girl"