• sam amidon All Is Well (LP, £11.50)

    label: Bedroom Community

    First time on vinyl thru SRD. *Away from his modest home-recording setup and thrown head-first into Sigurdsson's state-of-the-art Greenhouse Studios, Sam was left to concentrate on his intuitive interpretations of ageold folk-songs, a skill on which he proves himself to be a unique talent, drawing simultaneously on his experiences growing up a child of folk musicians in Vermont, and his more recent work in New York with the experimental indie-rock bands Doveman & Stars Like Fleas. *From the opening notes of the first track, 'Sugar Baby', it's as clear as an Alabama night that All is Well is a different album to his previous offerings, and by the album centerpiece, the wistfully poignant 'Saro', its obvious that this album is very special indeed. With horns erupting and dissipating around the listener, Amidon's trademark delivery is perfectly offset by the tenderly plucked notes of his six-string. Nico Muhly's orchestration is not the only addition to Amidon's barrel of sounds. A dizzying amalgam of trombone, Eyvind Kang's ghostly viola, and processed percussion convert a children's singing game from the Georgia Sea Islands into the ominous ambiguity of 'Little Johnny Brown'. The distinctive bass of Ben Frost is evident on the pensive 'Fall on My Knees', while subtle layers of electronics add an intrinsically modern aspect to the proceedings. Couple this with Sigurdsson's production wizardry and you'll realize that despite links to the Appalachian folk music of the past, All Is Well is an album that could only exist in the present. Tracklisting: 1 Sugar Baby 2 Little Johnny Brown 3 Saro 4 Wild Bill Jones 5 Wedding Dress 6 Fall On My Knees 7 Little Satchel 8 O Death 9 Prodigal Son 10 All Is Well


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