Bedroom Community

Press Reviews for All is Well

You, yes you. Lovers of Jim O'Rourke's circa "Bad timing" and Van Dyke Parks (…right, Joanna Newsom's recent work with him too), there is something here that needs your credit card. One can't believe how beautiful this album is: for sure it belongs in 2007's top ten. And I had never heard of this man from Vermont before. Described as a "child of folk musicians", Sam Amidon - who's active in fringe indie-rock bands Doveman and Stars Like Fleas in the meantime - is gifted with an "improbably nice" voice: the same monotonous timbre always, no virtuosity, a detached "who cares?" attitude if you will. Yet it sounds, for want of a better word, "warm". My wife, whose competence as an accomplished songwriter allows her to speak better than myself in this case, found a parallelism with elements of native Indian origin in Sam's expression. Matter of factly, that voice is just perfect for these tunes, which are nothing but rearranged renditions of popular American favourites, such as "O Death", "Sugar Baby" and "Wild Bill Jones". The flawless combination of Amidon's interpretation (his guitar strumming is also pretty peculiar, and it doesn't hurt at all) with Nico Muhly's sensitive wind, brass and strings arrangements (listen to those bass lines, and what about the fantastic Irish pipes appearing from nowhere in "Fall on my knees"?) yields repeated moments of unadulterated emotional rapture. All this, let me stress it once again, through simple songs which do not appear so simple after the treatment. Participants include Ben Frost, Eyvind Kang, Aaron Siegel, Morse and Valgeir Sigurðsson, producer of the artifact and once again confirming himself to be one of the most open-eared talents in that no man's land between experimental and potentially market-gratifying music. A veritable classic, a standard for comparisons in this genre from now on. Not to be missed.

Touching Extremes (November 11th 2007)

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Upcoming events

Aug 1

Sam Amidon@Dranouter Festival
Dranouter
Dranouter (Belgium)

Aug 13

Kilkenny Arts Festival
with Sam Amidon
The Set Theatre Kilkenny
Kilkenny (Ireland)

Sep 20

Kronos Quartet, Merchant, Giddens, Amidon, and Chaney
with Sam Amidon
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
Brooklyn (United States)

Sep 21

FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival
with Sam Amidon
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA)
North Adams (United States)

Nov 16

EFG London Jazz Festival
with Sam Amidon
Barbican
London (United Kingdom)

Discography

I See The Sign
Released on 19 April 2010
Order now

All is Well
Released on 22 October 2007
Order now

On the web

  • Find out more on Sam Amidon’s website
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