Skip directly to content
  • Sam Amidon

Latest Release

News

  • September 2, 2016

    Sam Amidon will return to Australia in February 2017 for an eleven-concert tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) and Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto. On the program, titled Murder & Redemption, the ACO will perform Janáček's Kreutzer Sonata and John Adams's Shaker Loops. Interweaved throughout will be arrangements of traditional folk songs—murder ballads and songs of salvation—that Amidon has re-written and will sing; Pekka and the ACO will perform arrangements Nico Muhly has written to accompany the songs. The concerts follow Amidon's October US tour with Richard Thompson.

  • May 5, 2016

    Sam Amidon and guitarist Bill Frisell are the guests on the eTown radio show. Following Frisell's set, Amidon makes his eTown debut performing three songs from his latest album, Lily-O—"Down the Line," "Walkin' Boss," and "Your Lone Journey"—as well as "Another Man Done Gone," from an earlier album, and joins host Nick Forster for a conversation about his life and music. The show closes with a group performance of "I'll Fly Away." You can listen to the complete show and watch the performances here.

Photos

Videos

About Sam Amidon

  • Lily-O, a new album of reimagined folk songs by Vermont-born singer/fiddler/banjoist/guitarist Sam Amidon was released September 30 by Nonesuch Records, with the vinyl following on October 27. The album was produced by Valgeir Sigurðsson (Björk, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Feist) and features the innovative jazz guitarist and composer Bill Frisell, along with Amidon’s other frequent collaborators, bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Chris Vatalaro. 

    “Walkin’ Boss” is one of the first songs I learned on the banjo, by playing along with a recording by Jeff Davis as a teenager,” Amidon said. “As it happens this is also the first tune that we recorded during the sessions, on a crisp October morning in Reykjavik."

    Frisell has been a hero of Amidon’s since the young Vermont native first heard the guitarist play at the Village Vanguard during a teenage visit to New York City. The two musicians stayed in touch and had their first live collaboration in 2011; not long after, Amidon began contemplating a return to Iceland to make a third album at Sigurðsson’s Greenhouse Studios. He eventually invited Frisell to join him and Sigurðsson, along with Ismaily and Vatalaro, to record what became Lily-O.

    “I decided to put us all in a room together in Reykjavik for a few days,” Amidon said. “I knew if I got Bill together with those guys they would get into a deep situation. I imagined that we would do something weird and fiddle-based, but when we got in there it just felt great to sing the songs I had gathered. Recording took about four days. I'd teach them the basic structure of the song; we'd do a few takes, and move on to a new one. There's maybe one or two overdubs but otherwise you're hearing what we played.”

    Lily-O’s ten songs are mostly traditional folk songs gathered from disparate sources and refashioned in Amidon’s signature way. The interplay between the four musicians is informed by their backgrounds in improvised music and the spontaneous nature of the sessions. As always, the central element is Amidon’s voice, which, in his deceptively understated manner, tells tales of adventure, love, violence and redemption.

    Lily-O follows four albums by Amidon including his 2013 Nonesuch debut, Bright Sunny South. 2010’s I See The Sign and 2008’s All Is Well were made for the Icelandic label Bedroom Community and featured orchestral arrangements by composer Nico Muhly. Along the way Amidon has performed worldwide in myriad contexts, collaborating with musicians such as Muhly, Thomas Bartlett/Doveman, Beth Orton and Glen Hansard. He has appeared as a guest artist on recent albums by Tune-Yards, Aoife O’Donovan and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Sam Amidon

Tour

Sat, Apr 1
Randolph, VT
Chandler Center for the Arts
Sat, Apr 1
Randolph, VT
Chandler Center for the Arts
Mon, Apr 17
Los Angeles, CA
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Mon, Apr 17
Los Angeles, CA
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Tue, May 9
Minneapolis, MN
American Swedish Institute
Tue, May 9
Minneapolis, MN
American Swedish Institute
Fri, Jun 16
Eau Claire, WI
Fri, Jun 16
Eau Claire, WI
Sat, Jun 17
Eau Claire, WI
Sat, Jun 17
Eau Claire, WI
nonesuch's picture
on February 7, 2013 - 7:36pm
Sort Name: 
Amidon Sam
Artist Genre: 
Biography (Excerpt): 

Nonesuch Records released Sam Amidon’s label debut, Bright Sunny South, in 2013, followed by Lily-O on September 30, 2014. The Vermont-born and raised, London-based Amidon is known for his reworking of traditional melodies into a new form. In addition to country ballads and shape-note hymns, his work features interpretations of traditional and contemporary songs. Previous solo albums include I See the Sign, But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted, and All Is Well. Amidon has also collaborated on performances pieces with Nico Muhly, toured as part of Thomas Bartlett’s group Doveman, collaborated with Beth Orton, and embarked on a series of live shows with the guitarist Bill Frisell.

Biography: 

Lily-O, a new album of reimagined folk songs by Vermont-born singer/fiddler/banjoist/guitarist Sam Amidon was released September 30 by Nonesuch Records, with the vinyl following on October 27. The album was produced by Valgeir Sigurðsson (Björk, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Feist) and features the innovative jazz guitarist and composer Bill Frisell, along with Amidon’s other frequent collaborators, bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Chris Vatalaro. 

“Walkin’ Boss” is one of the first songs I learned on the banjo, by playing along with a recording by Jeff Davis as a teenager,” Amidon said. “As it happens this is also the first tune that we recorded during the sessions, on a crisp October morning in Reykjavik."

Frisell has been a hero of Amidon’s since the young Vermont native first heard the guitarist play at the Village Vanguard during a teenage visit to New York City. The two musicians stayed in touch and had their first live collaboration in 2011; not long after, Amidon began contemplating a return to Iceland to make a third album at Sigurðsson’s Greenhouse Studios. He eventually invited Frisell to join him and Sigurðsson, along with Ismaily and Vatalaro, to record what became Lily-O.

“I decided to put us all in a room together in Reykjavik for a few days,” Amidon said. “I knew if I got Bill together with those guys they would get into a deep situation. I imagined that we would do something weird and fiddle-based, but when we got in there it just felt great to sing the songs I had gathered. Recording took about four days. I'd teach them the basic structure of the song; we'd do a few takes, and move on to a new one. There's maybe one or two overdubs but otherwise you're hearing what we played.”

Lily-O’s ten songs are mostly traditional folk songs gathered from disparate sources and refashioned in Amidon’s signature way. The interplay between the four musicians is informed by their backgrounds in improvised music and the spontaneous nature of the sessions. As always, the central element is Amidon’s voice, which, in his deceptively understated manner, tells tales of adventure, love, violence and redemption.

Lily-O follows four albums by Amidon including his 2013 Nonesuch debut, Bright Sunny South. 2010’s I See The Sign and 2008’s All Is Well were made for the Icelandic label Bedroom Community and featured orchestral arrangements by composer Nico Muhly. Along the way Amidon has performed worldwide in myriad contexts, collaborating with musicians such as Muhly, Thomas Bartlett/Doveman, Beth Orton and Glen Hansard. He has appeared as a guest artist on recent albums by Tune-Yards, Aoife O’Donovan and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Weight: 
10
Active Artist: 
No
Facebook URL: 
http://www.facebook.com/SamAmidonMusic
Twitter URL: 
https://twitter.com/samamidon
Instagram URL: 
https://www.instagram.com/samamidon/
Artist Header Image: 
Artist Card Image: 
Artist Spotlight Image: 

Tour

Sat, Apr 1
Randolph, VT
Chandler Center for the Arts
Sat, Apr 1
Randolph, VT
Chandler Center for the Arts
Mon, Apr 17
Los Angeles, CA
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Mon, Apr 17
Los Angeles, CA
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Tue, May 9
Minneapolis, MN
American Swedish Institute
Tue, May 9
Minneapolis, MN
American Swedish Institute
Fri, Jun 16
Eau Claire, WI
Fri, Jun 16
Eau Claire, WI
Sat, Jun 17
Eau Claire, WI
Sat, Jun 17
Eau Claire, WI
[{"parent":{"title":"Get on the list !","body":" Get exclusive information about NONESUCH tour dates, video premieres and special announcements ","field_newsletter_id":"14075483","field_label_list_id":"6389157","field_display_rates":"-1","field_preview_mode":"false","field_lbox_height":"","field_lbox_width":"","field_toaster_timeout":"6000","field_toaster_position":"From Bottom","field_turnkey_height":"400"}}]

Performs On