Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Eric Gleason
There are good music nights, and then there are great music nights. The latter was definitely the case for Amy Helm’s two hours-plus set at Club Helsinki to a sold-out audience last weekend. Bringing passion and joy to 20 songs, these four talented musicians (and a special guest) delved deep into the roots of American music spanning eight decades.
The band took the stage with no introduction necessary – many in the crowd knew Helm from her decade with Ollabelle and countless nights playing in the Midnight Ramble band with legendary father, the late Levon Helm. Daniel Littleton (acoustic guitar), Byron Issacs (acoustic guitar, acoustic bass) and Dave Berger (drums, squeeze box) took their seats and up to the microphone strode the beautiful Helm, clad in a floral blouse and bell-bottom jeans. “Roll the Stone” proved to be a hypnotic opener, with Berger supplementing his drums with occasional sleigh bells, while Littleton’s echo-laden lead and rhythm work complemented Helm’s fine vocal. “Wild Girl” and “Roll Away” continued the Catskills-meets-Cotton Belt rustic vibe, and the telepathy of the four elicited smiles all around. This was going to be a special night.