A deep synthesis of folk song and experimental improvisation
Sam Amidon is a singer and multi-instrumentalist originally hailing from Brattleboro, Vermont. His most recent album, The Following Mountain, was released in May of 2017 by Nonesuch Records. His sixth album overall, it is his deeply personal synthesis of folk-based song form and experimental improvisation. It is his first album of entirely original songs and compositions, featuring appearances by Shahzad Ismaily, Leo Abrahams and legendary free-jazz drummer Milford Graves, known for his pioneering work in the 1960s with artists such as Albert Ayler and Sonny Sharrock.
Prior to The Following Mountain, Sam released five albums of radically reimagined folksongs on the Bedroom Community and Nonesuch labels. Called "part preservationist, part visionary" by the Boston Globe, Amidon's material for these albums consists primarily of reworkings of traditional American ballads, hymns and work songs, with the New York Times writing that Amidon "transforms all of the songs, changing their colors and loading them with trapdoors." The albums have been deeply collaborative in nature, inviting contributions from musicians such as composer Nico Muhly, guitarist Bill Frisell, and improviser Shahzad Ismaily among others. Along the way Sam has recorded or performed as a guest artist with musicians such as pianist Jason Moran, indie rock band Bon Iver, and Glen Hansard. Amidon lives in London with his wife, singer and songwriter Beth Orton.