11 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sam Amidon is a modern folk singer who can sound like Bert Jansch leading an indie pop band (during a cover of Tim McGraw's "My Old Friend") or like Alasdair Roberts at the piano (for a desolate read of Mariah Carey's "Shake It Off"). Most of his time, though, he's scouring public domain files for obscure folk songs that he can bring to life with sometimes arty, sometimes spare arrangements. "He's Taken My Feet" adds jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler for few bars of jazz inflection here and there, while Amidon finds a small band to bring the solemn hymn into a dissonant rage for its unexpected second half. Flashes of Terry Reid (circa his excellent 1973 album River) transform "Pharaoh" into a bucolic beauty of great tenderness and extend through the fiddle-enhanced "Streets of Derry." A manic banjo matches the field holler that drives "As I Roved Out," while the album comes full circle with "Weeping Mary," a powerful tune that Amidon's parents recorded as part of a group that was signed to the same record label 36 years earlier.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sam Amidon is a modern folk singer who can sound like Bert Jansch leading an indie pop band (during a cover of Tim McGraw's "My Old Friend") or like Alasdair Roberts at the piano (for a desolate read of Mariah Carey's "Shake It Off"). Most of his time, though, he's scouring public domain files for obscure folk songs that he can bring to life with sometimes arty, sometimes spare arrangements. "He's Taken My Feet" adds jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler for few bars of jazz inflection here and there, while Amidon finds a small band to bring the solemn hymn into a dissonant rage for its unexpected second half. Flashes of Terry Reid (circa his excellent 1973 album River) transform "Pharaoh" into a bucolic beauty of great tenderness and extend through the fiddle-enhanced "Streets of Derry." A manic banjo matches the field holler that drives "As I Roved Out," while the album comes full circle with "Weeping Mary," a powerful tune that Amidon's parents recorded as part of a group that was signed to the same record label 36 years earlier.

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About Sam Amidon

Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/artist Samuel Tear, aka Sam Amidon, began playing fiddle at the age of three. Raised by musician parents on a steady diet of Irish and Appalachian folk in Brattleboro, Vermont, Amidon spent the early arc of his teens performing and recording traditional dance and avant folk music with his parents, as well as his own group, Assembly. He added banjo and guitar to his repertoire after relocating to New York City, where he began collaborating with longtime friend Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), as well as a host of other acts like Tall Firs, the Swell Season, and Stares. He released his debut album, Solo Fiddle, in 2003, followed in 2007 by But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted and All Is Well in 2008. Amidon married singer/songwriter Beth Orton and the two had a son in 2011. Output remained strong from Amidon as he entered into family life, with new volumes arriving in the form of 2009's duet with percussionist Aaron Siegel, Fiddle and Drum, 2010's I See the Sign, and for Nonesuch, 2013's Bright Sunny South and 2014's Lily-O. The latter featured guitar legend Bill Frisell. In 2015, But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted was reissued in an expanded edition from Omnivore Records after years out of print. His first album to consist entirely of original songs, The Following Mountain arrived via Nonesuch in 2017. It was produced by Leo Abrahams (Regina Spektor, Frightened Rabbit) and featured guests including veteran jazz drummer Milford Graves. ~ James Christopher Monger

HOMETOWN
Brattleboro, VT
BORN
June 3, 1981

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