Sam Amidon - I See the Sign

Album Review by Nick Mitchell | 29 Mar 2010
  • Sam Amidon - I See the Sign
Album title: I See the Sign
Artist: Sam Amidon
Label: Bedroom Community
Release date: 19 Apr

If you give any credence to the media pastime of trend-spotting, then you'd probably file Sam Amidon under the latest 'folk revival' along with the likes of Crooked Still, Espers and Joanna Newsom. Not that the 28-year-old Vermont native had much choice in the matter: his parents were dyed-in-the-wool folkies who performed 'sacred harp' religious songs and taught the young Amidon the fiddle from the age of three. While tracks like How Come That Blood benefit from a more contemporary sound – and there is even a reworking of the R Kelly song Relief – this is far from the cutting edge. That's not to say that Amidon is a resolute traditionalist; rather, it's the overrich, chamber-orchestral arrangements by Nico Muhly which sometimes give this a slovenly feel. Serial collaborator Beth Orton lends her vocals to several songs, and while Amidon does add something new to the folk canon, perhaps it isn't quite enough. [Nick Mitchell]


Sam Amidon plays the Captain's Rest, Glasgow on 21 May.