Taking the Helm

The language of heaven

Amy Helm
Amy Helm

Amy Helm is still quite taken with one of the views her late father — famed drummer and singer Levon Helm — had about the deeply profound effect that music can have on people’s lives.

“My father used to call it the language of heaven, and I very much agree with that,” Helm says. “Music has saved my life many times and continues to, in small ways and in big ways.”

Helm has performed in several roots, blues and folk groups over the years — including the Levon Helm Band — but with a new year upon us, Helm will soon be releasing her first solo record. Tentatively due out in April, the as-yet-untitled album could feature as many as 15 tracks, including covers of songs by the likes of Sam Cooke and Martha Scanlan.

“It was invigorating,” Helm says of making the album. “It’s always fun to work on albums. Any chance to work is a good thing. And music is, of course, a pretty fun job to have.”

And while Helm has spent most of her time supporting other artists in the past, she found that she enjoyed fronting her own project just as much.

“There’s something really exciting about being part of a group and having to interact in a different way, a supportive way, when you’re playing in a band, and it is certainly a challenge and a very cool thing to try and lead and drive a song from the front of the stage,” she says. “I enjoy both quite a bit.”

Amy Helm plays with blues stalwarts The Wood Brothers 8 pm Thursday, Feb. 6, at WOW Hall; $17 adv., $20 door.