Nestled in a wooded area of NYC’s Central Park in the area of East 70th St., Rumsey Playfield has played host as one of the City Parks Foundation’s Summerstage venues in the series’ 30th season in 2015. Recently on a bright summer afternoon with plenty of shade at Rumsey Playfield, the Summerstage series welcomed a fantastically paired bill of Amy Helm and Dr. John & The Nite Trippers.
The free show (some Summerstage shows are free, others ticketed) drew in a generationally diverse crowd, surprisingly so for the styles of music on stage. The music proved timeless with older folks grooving along to Dr. John’s signature New Orleans sound just as much as the younger folks were off their smart phones, diving into the music as well.
For Amy Helm and her band, this show was a sort of respite back home after being on the road for a while. The Woodstock native played a mix of cover songs and material off of her debut album, Didn’t It Rain. Her glowing presence on stage wasn’t complete without the presence of her late father, Levon Helm, his first name branded on her guitar strap in small letters between the larger letters of the last name they both share.
NYC may be some 1,300 miles away from New Orleans and void of beignets and baked ham sandwiches from Mother’s, but when Dr. John took the stage in his suit and colorfully decorated hat it seemed like a small piece of the French Quarter took over the nook of Central Park. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member and New Orleans native boasted a cool confidence in his performance while backed by a talented band, each member entwining their talent for a wholesome show.
The Summerstage Series continues throughout NYC’s five boroughs through the first week of August with some remarkable acts yet to come. Check out their full schedule here.
Amy Helm Setlist
Didn’t It Rain, Roll Away, Rescue Me, Roll The Stone, Gentling Me, Atlantic City (Springsteen Cover), Deep Water, When the Battle is Over (Aretha Franklin cover), Slippin’ and Slidin’ (Little Richard cover), Meet Me in the Morning (Bob Dylan cover), Gloryland, Good News (Sam Cooke cover)
Dr. John & The Nite Trippers Setlist
Croaker Courtbullion, Iko Iko, Mardi Gras Day, Eleggua, Monkey Speaks, Going Back to New Orleans, Big Shot, Splinters, Right Place, Mama & Papa, Wonderful World, Mac the Knife, Do You Call the Buddy, Old Settlers, Goodnight Irene, Black Widow Spider, Big Chief
Dr. John & The Nite Trippers