“One of Americana’s most impassioned, soul-stirring singers.” —Rolling Stone Country
8:00 PM—The Oxford American magazine is excited to welcome Amy Helm to the South on Main stage! This event kicks off their 2019-2020 Concert Series and is the first show of their Americana Sub-Series. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time. The series is made possible in part by presenting sponsor Stella Boyle Smith Trust, as well as their season sponsor University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Additional season partners include Chris & Jo Harkins, J. Mark & Christy Davis, Cypress Properties, Inc., UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication, Margaret Ferguson Pope—Thank You Aunt Margaret!, EVO Business Environments, Jay Barth & Chuck Cliett, Stacy Hamilton of Desselle Real Estate, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Arkansas Arts Council, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Rosen Music Company, and Steinway Piano Gallery Little Rock.
There are no tickets available at this time. Please visit the venue on the night of the show when doors open to inquire about any potential ticket releases.
Amy Helm sought what she calls a “circular sound” for her new album. It’s a well-rounded one, marked by streaks of Americana, country, blues, and gospel, and the kinds of four-part harmonies that can burst open a melody and close the loop of an octave. It’s a sound that represents the feeling of community.
This Too Shall Light, released September 2018 on Yep Roc Records, comprises ten songs produced by GRAMMY-winning producer and songwriter Joe Henry. During the four-day session in Los Angeles, the musicians were directed not to overthink the songs, and Helm herself barely performed any of the selections while preparing to record. As a result, the sessions forced fast musical trust among the collaborators and yielded the vibrant instrumental improvisations heard throughout This Too Shall Light.
Although a profound songwriter herself, Helm and Henry jointly arranged a diverse collection of songs for the record, which range from Rod Stewart’s “Mandolin Wind” to Allen Toussaint’s “Freedom for the Stallion” and even the Milk Carton Kids’ “Michigan.” The title track in particular, written by Hiss Golden Messenger’s MC Taylor and Josh Kaufman, is a brilliant summation of the record’s sound and spirit.
Helm’s voice veers from commanding to supplicating within a single soulful verse, as she manipulates that message so that light leads throughout even the darkest of times.
Helm’s parents—The Band’s legendary drummer and singer Levon Helm and singer/songwriter Libby Titus—guided her training and influences. A lifelong musician and music-lover, she later became a founding member of the alt-country collective Ollabelle and served as a backing musician in her father’s Midnight Ramble Band. On This Too Shall Light, Helm says that two songs in particular pay homage to Levon—“The Stones I Throw,” a song he released in 1965 with Levon and the Hawks, and the closing traditional number, an a cappella version of the hymn “Gloryland,” which was passed from father to daughter.
While This Too Shall Light is only Helm’s second album under her own name, it serves as a comprehensive portrait covering her life’s journeys and recoveries; these songs are stories that, no matter where they take her, seem to end and begin in the same place like a circle.