11 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sam Amidon is a modern folk singer who can sound like Bert Jansch leading an indie pop band (during a cover of Tim McGraw's "My Old Friend") or like Alasdair Roberts at the piano (for a desolate read of Mariah Carey's "Shake It Off"). Most of his time, though, he's scouring public domain files for obscure folk songs that he can bring to life with sometimes arty, sometimes spare arrangements. "He's Taken My Feet" adds jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler for few bars of jazz inflection here and there, while Amidon finds a small band to bring the solemn hymn into a dissonant rage for its unexpected second half. Flashes of Terry Reid (circa his excellent 1973 album River) transform "Pharaoh" into a bucolic beauty of great tenderness and extend through the fiddle-enhanced "Streets of Derry." A manic banjo matches the field holler that drives "As I Roved Out," while the album comes full circle with "Weeping Mary," a powerful tune that Amidon's parents recorded as part of a group that was signed to the same record label 36 years earlier.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sam Amidon is a modern folk singer who can sound like Bert Jansch leading an indie pop band (during a cover of Tim McGraw's "My Old Friend") or like Alasdair Roberts at the piano (for a desolate read of Mariah Carey's "Shake It Off"). Most of his time, though, he's scouring public domain files for obscure folk songs that he can bring to life with sometimes arty, sometimes spare arrangements. "He's Taken My Feet" adds jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler for few bars of jazz inflection here and there, while Amidon finds a small band to bring the solemn hymn into a dissonant rage for its unexpected second half. Flashes of Terry Reid (circa his excellent 1973 album River) transform "Pharaoh" into a bucolic beauty of great tenderness and extend through the fiddle-enhanced "Streets of Derry." A manic banjo matches the field holler that drives "As I Roved Out," while the album comes full circle with "Weeping Mary," a powerful tune that Amidon's parents recorded as part of a group that was signed to the same record label 36 years earlier.

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