Folksinger Sam Amidon, born in Brattleboro, Vermont, is going on tour this winter to promote his new album, Lily-O. Written with the help of jazz legend Bill Frisell, Lily-O brings in a little something new while Amidon still holds onto the simplistic folk style he has had since his first album, Solo Fiddle.
The occasional flourishing piano and electric guitar balance nicely with the gentleness of Amidon’s acoustic guitar and vocals that are unadorned but strong. The songs themselves take on a melancholy feel, and every tune brings up vivid and unidentifiable feelings.
Amidon captures and cultivates what some might refer to as pre-Bob Dylan folk music. Dylan’s revolutionary career made folk music into something with a completely new identity, something living, changing, something that could be brought into the modern world or sent back into the past. Amidon, however, embodies the classic folk musician from the 40s. With a steady beat hiding a few clever rhythms and the musician acting as a channel for the story, Amidon reverts to the forgotten history of “old-time” folk.
Amidon’s clean-cut creations resonate with emotion and comfort the listener while simultaneously challenging them to think and feel something else. The old American folk tradition is taken into Amidon’s hands and reshaped into his own ideas, performed with sensitive passion to make it new again.
Amidon is playing at The Ark in Ann Arbor on Monday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m. as a part of his tour across the U.S.