It's far from the first time someone called Helm has stepped up to a microphone shouldering a mandolin and sung a Bob Dylan song. It's also no novelty to have a Helm sing Muddy Waters with a passion that smacks of deep Southern States empathy for the blues, and if Amy Helm, pictured, is doing both these things in the name of her father cum mentor, the late great drummer-mandolinist-singer with The Band, Levon Helm, she's doing the old man proud.
She may have some between-song stagecraft to learn and be apt to let her hugely talented band carry the atmospheric weight of her own songs, but her conviction on the widely sourced cover versions in her set-list here was the stuff of goose bumps. Poaching songs from rhythm'n'blues goddess Laverne Baker as well as her folk-songs-from-stoveside friend, Martha Scanlan, Helm showed a very Helm-like character while allowing guitarist Dan Littleton space to generate acoustic-electric heat. Strong roots, sincere singing and hot guitar also featured in Darrell Scott's by turns reflective and sizzling, thoroughly involving set of blues, country, swing and expertly renovated old-time folk tales.
Loading article content