Music Q&A: Amy Helm

The Woodstock-based musician is hitting the road with her second album, This Too Shall Light, visiting the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds on 25 January

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What informs your music and songwriting?
I’m inspired by listening to and watching other musicians and singers. When you see an artist reaching for their deepest song, phrase, melody or groove it reminds you of your own capacity to reach and get better.

How have you evolved as an artist over the years?
I think I’ve become more confident and at ease with my singing, hopefully not trying as hard to control and direct it, but learning to let it go and tell the story inside the song.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Listening to a lot of Sarah Vaughn and trying to get better on piano. And playing lots of gigs!

What’s on your rider?
Nothing weird or radical. It’s boring. Almond butter, coconut water, apples, chocolate. I need to add some eccentric items and up my game.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
On stage or simply in line at the grocery store? There’s so many – hard to whittle it down. I’ve had the opportunity to sing with some of my heroes and that has always felt surreal.

What song do you wish you’d written?
About a million, but to start maybe Son of A Preacher Man, or Jolene, or Helpless, or Natural Woman, or Lonesome Suzie. It’s too vast a list!

What’s your worst lyric?
Again, this is a long list! How about “Heat Lightning. Ooh. Ooh. Ooh”? I think that counts!

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