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Amy Helm’s deep musical roots were enriched by a lifetime of exposure to the finest expressions of American musical tradition. Combined with her stunning vocal and other creative gifts, those roots have grown up to reveal a spellbinding artist who moves easily through a broad range of musical styles.
The daughter of music legend Levon Helm and singer/songwriter Libby Titus Fagen, Helm wields a powerful voice that can both stir and soothe, whether she is singing traditional gospel, blues standards or her own heartfelt compositions. She is a gifted musician on both mandolin and drums, and has clearly absorbed the lessons of the many other accomplished artists with whom she has shared stages, including Mavis Staples, Emmylou Harris, and Joan Osborne as well as other uniquely American performers like Dr. John and Hubert Sumlin.
A founding member of the roots band Ollabelle with whom she has recorded three CDs, Helm has also performed live with scores of notable musicians like Warren Haynes, The Wood Brothers, and Donald Fagen, and her distinctive voice can be heard on recordings by artists ranging from Mercury Rev to Marc Cohn.
Her lengthy resume is highlighted by many years of singing and playing alongside her father, with whom she conceived, launched and perfected the Midnight Rambles, intimate performances held since 2004 at his home and studio in Woodstock, N.Y. The musical chemistry, affectionate humor and family pride that Amy shared on stage with her father helped shape the Midnight Ramble as it evolved into a musical event that still attracts fans and musicians from around the world. She co-produced Levon Helm's 2007 CD Dirt Farmer, which won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album, and she is prominently featured on the Levon Helm Band’s Electric Dirt and Ramble at the Ryman Grammy-winning albums.
New Sweden has been sharing their unique flavor of Americana, Folk, and Indie Rock with the greater Philadelphia region since forming in late 2009. The 6-piece outfit molds their sound using a blend of traditional folk instruments (violin, banjo, acoustic guitar, mandolin, pump organ, bass, percussion) with a modern twist, all backed by energetic live performances. The lyrics are sincere, complex, and powerful; sure to speak to any listener willing to lend an ear.
So far it's been a great ride for New Sweden; the recording and release of their first studio record, “The Mountain” (Recording Engineer Nick DiDia, Producer Ritchie Rubini) stands out as an exciting milestone and success to date, but not to be overlooked were: sharing the stage with the likes of The Felice Brothers, Kevin Devine, James McMurty, and all artists at NON-COMM 2011, competing with local Philadelphia bands and ultimately winning the Beta-Hi-Fi Emerging Artist Competition, two TriState Indie Awards for Best Delaware Band and a whole slew of other shows and competitions along the away.
In less than three years, New Sweden has built a strong, loyal fan base in the Philadelphia/Wilmington region through relentless live performances and an undeniable connection with all types of audiences. Support for the band has been evident with over 1,000 albums sold independently, packing World Cafe Live at The Queen for “The Mountain” record release party.
So what’s in store for the future? New Sweden will continue to support their new release, “The Mountain” through East Coast U.S. tours, local performances, and radio appearances. A new batch of recordings is in the works, and as always, fans can keep an eye out for new online video content and raw New Sweden-produced home studio recordings.
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