How Come That Blood
Way Go Lily
You Better Mind
I See The Sign
Johanna The Row-di
Pretty Fair Damsel
Rain And Snow
Climbing High Mountains
Relief (R. Kelly)
The needle-drop fuzz that cues Sam Amidon’s fourth solo album of songs, I See The Sign, raises the curtain on a world of little theatres, foretelling of an aural gut-grip that is fully human and wholly natural. Amidon’s intuitive and often radical reworkings of age-old secular ballads, gospel, folk songs, and hymns render familiar characters new through his direction, vision, vocals, banjo, guitar, and stellar contributions from fellow musicians. Stylus Magazine raved that Amidon’s sophomore solo album, But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted, was “the most interesting folk album of 2007.” In 2008, Bedroom Community debuted his third album, All Is Well, which garnered media enthusiasm as a “a goose-bump-manufacturing sonic pièce de résistance” (CMJ New Music Monthly).
I See The Sign sets the stage for Amidon’s second Bedroom Community release to showcase deft attention to songcraft and collaboration. Where All Is Well foregrounded voice and strings to share tales of human endurance, I See The Sign is a carefully constructed battle and balance of musical sensibilities surveying the psychological extremes of existence.
What the press says
Sam Amidon sees no difference between a 19th-century folk ballad and a 21st-century avant-garde instrumental suite. In bridging the very old and the very new... he has managed to meld the rural and the urban, the organic and the synthetic, the oral tradition and the written score
“The combination of artists on this album deliver such an intense experience and I can’t help but be fascinated by it all. I’m quite in awe to be honest, and I use such words very sparingly when I talk about music. This is certainly his best work to date.”
Amidon - with Sigurdsson, Muhly, multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily and on Beth Orton - brings a heightened reality and off-register colour to these black-and-white broadsides.
[These performances] are passively beautiful, combed-over, thought-out, and then re-remembered fondly, wistfully... Yet that passivity is the key to the earnest openness that makes Amidon’s new album transcend.
I’ll keep it short, because the more time you spend reading this, the less time you have to listen to Sam Amidon’s new album, I See The Sign, and it would really be a shame if you didn’t spend the next occasion you find yourself alone in the company of these friendly, forgiving, firelit songs.
Two and a Half Questions with Sam Amidon
Sam Amidon’s music is bigger and better than any retrospective reworkings. For this is contemporary music, providing an outlet for forgotten sounds and breathing oxygen into new creations.
I See the Sign ... his interpretations are so singular that it stops mattering how (or if) these songs existed before—all that matters is how they exist now.
...Amidon’s instincts and talents as a musical conservationist, interpreter, and reanimator are to be wholly trusted and cherished.
“this IS an epochal masterpiece – placing it side by side with the finest albums of the last four decades”
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Kronos Quartet, Merchant, Giddens, Amidon, and Chaney
with Sam Amidon
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
Brooklyn (United States)
FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival
with Sam Amidon
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA)
North Adams (United States)
Northampton (United States)
EFG London Jazz Festival
with Sam Amidon
London (United Kingdom)
On the web
- Find out more on Sam Amidon’s website
- Visit Sam Amidon’s page on MySpace
- Check out Sam Amidon’s page on Facebook
- Follow Sam Amidon on Twitter