Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lope Like A Buzzard

All Is Well by Sam Amidon has become a staple of my musical intake since i was given a copy in May. He was born in Brattleboro, Vermont and currently lives in New York. Amidon divides his time between his solo work(Sam Amidon) and also with various bands including Doveman, Stars Like Fleas and Samamidon, which is a collaborative effort with Thomas Bartlett.

He hails from a rich musical background, his brother is a drummer(who also played on All is Well) and both of his parents are musicians and teachers of music. Sams first instrument was not the guitar but the fiddle, which he started to learn around the age of three.

All is Well is a collaboration with composer Nico Muhly and producer-engineer Valgeir SigurĂ°sson, and was recorded in Iceland throughout 2007. Amidon has followed in footsteps of musical archaeologists Alan Lomax and Harry Smith in terms of unearthing music that some may not be familiar with. The ten traditional folk songs emerge but with a modern interpretation. They are not straight covers nor are they completely reconstructed. He managed to maintain the essence of the songs whilst lovingly putting his own slant on them. He dedicated the album to Dock Boggs mainly because "from his recording i learned many of the melodies and words found in this music"

The amalgamation of guitar, banjo, viola, piano, trombone and subtle hints of electronics work beautifully as backdrops to Amidons Voice. It gives a warm, comforting feel to the album.
The Milk Factory describe it as "a precious gem of a record, all in nuances and shades, with delicate overtones and airy harmonies. SigurĂ°sson’s production is light and subtle yet it gives these songs fantastic depth and contrast without ever overshadowing Amidon’s delivery".

For more information on Sam Amidon check out the following:

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