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Lily-OLily-O, a new album of reimagined folk songs by Vermont-born singer/fiddler/banjoist/guitarist Sam Amidon will be released by Nonesuch Records. The album was produced by Valgeir Sigurðsson (Björk, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Feist) and features the innovative jazz guitarist and composer Bill Frisell, along with Amidon's other frequent collaborators, bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Chris Vatalaro.
Frisell has been a hero of Amidon's since the young Vermont native first heard the guitarist play at the Village Vanguard during a teenage visit to New York City. The two musicians stayed in touch and had their first live collaboration in 2011; not long after, Amidon began contemplating a return to Iceland to make a third album at Sigurðsson's Greenhouse Studios. He eventually invited Frisell to join him and Sigurðsson, along with Ismaily and Vatalaro, to record what became Lily-O.
"I decided to put us all in a room together in Reykjavik for a few days," Amidon said. "I knew if I got Bill together with those guys they would get into a deep situation. I imagined that we would do something weird and fiddle-based, but when we got in there it just felt great to sing the songs I had gathered. Recording took about four days. I'd teach them the basic structure of the song; we'd do a few takes, and move on to a new one. There's maybe one or two overdubs but otherwise you're hearing what we played."
Lily-O's ten songs are mostly traditional folk songs gathered from disparate sources and refashioned in Amidon's signature way. The interplay between the four musicians is informed by their backgrounds in improvised music and the spontaneous nature of the sessions. As always, the central element is Amidon's voice, which, in his deceptively understated manner, tells tales of adventure, love, violence and redemption.
Lily-O follows four albums by Amidon including his 2013 Nonesuch debut, Bright Sunny South. 2010's I See The Sign and 2008's All Is Well were made for the Icelandic label Bedroom Community and featured orchestral arrangements by composer Nico Muhly. Along the way Amidon has performed worldwide in myriad contexts, collaborating with musicians such as Muhly, Thomas Bartlett/Doveman, Beth Orton and Glen Hansard. He has appeared as a guest artist on recent albums by Tune-Yards, Aoife O'Donovan and the Blind Boys of Alabama.1. Walkin' Boss
2. Down The Line
3. Blue Mountains
4. Pat Do This, Pat Do That
6. Groundhog Variations
7. Won't Turn Back
8. Maid Lamenting
9. Your Lone Journey
10. Devotion$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Following MountainThe Following Mountain, the newest solo album by experimental folk artist, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Sam Amidon, will be released on Nonesuch Records.
Created with producer Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, Regina Spektor) and Amidon's frequent collaborator Shahzad Ismaily, it represents a new approach for Amidon, who shifts here from his previous norm of re-working traditional folk songs and presents nine wholly original compositions, with some lyrics drawing on traditional sources. The album features a rare guest appearance by drummer Milford Graves, known initially for his work in the 1960s with free jazz legends Albert Ayler and Sonny Sharrock.
The Following Mountain was made during two distinct recording sessions: an initial weekend in Brooklyn where Ismaily and Amidon brought in Graves, percussionist Juma Sultan (Jimi Hendrix), and saxophonist Sam Gendel for a heavily improvised session; followed by time in the studio over the summer in London, where Amidon worked with Leo Abrahams to shape and develop the songs.
The Following Mountain is a walk through the thickets of the imagination, Amidon said, a personal mythology of sounds and visions and characters. It is my first album of original music, but is still linked to the Appalachian music I love, as well as improvisation, beats, Don Cherry, Vermont, London.
The Following Mountain is Amidon's sixth album and follows Lily-O, his 2014 Nonesuch Records collaboration with guitarist Bill Frisell.1. Fortune
3. Juma Mountain
4. Another Story Told
5. Gendel in 5
7. Trouble in Mind
9. April$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Didn't He RambleDidn't He Ramble, the second solo outing from acclaimed singer songwriter Glen Hansard, will be released September 18 via Anti- Records. The new album is his first in over three years and follows 2012's solo debut Rhythm & Repose, which Billboard hailed as "Hansard at his most engaging." Didn't He Ramble was produced by Thomas Bartlett (The National, Sufjan Stevens), a frequent collaborator of Hansard's, and Grammy winner and former Frames band-mate David Odlum (Paloma Faith, Tinariwen). The album, which was recorded in New York, Dublin, Chicago and France, is Hansard's most intimate and elegant record since his work in Once and features guest appearances by John Sheahan (Dubliners), Sam Beam (Iron and Wine) and Sam Amidon. Glen Hansard is the celebrated principal songwriter and vocalist/guitarist for the influential Irish group The Frames. Whether busking the streets of Dublin, where he got his start, or headlining a gig, Hansard has garnered a reputation as an unparalleled frontman. Hansard is also one half of the acclaimed duo The Swell Season. In 2007, he and Czech songstress MarkÉta Irglová took home the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Falling Slowly" off the Once soundtrack. In 2013,the Broadway adaptation, Once The Musical, won eight Tony Awards including the top musical prize. Most recently, Hansard has won critical acclaim for his moving interpretations of the songs of Jason Molina of Songs:Ohia.1. Grace Beneath the Pines
2. Wedding Ring
3. Winning Streak
4. Her Mercy
5. McCormack's Wall
6. Lowly Deserter
7. Paying My Way
8. My Little Ruin
9. Just to be the One
10. Stay the Road$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bright Sunny SouthNonesuch Records releases Sam Amidon's label debut, Bright Sunny South in 2013. Produced by Amidon with his childhood friend and longtime collaborator Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman) and legendary English engineer Jerry Boys (Buena Vista Social Club, Vashti Bunyan, R.E.M.) and recorded in London, the record features a band made up of Bartlett and multi-instrumentalists Shahzad Ismaily and Chris Vatalaro. Jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler also makes a cameo. Amidon himself not only sings but also plays banjo, fiddle, acoustic guitar, and piano on the album.
Amidon describes Bright Sunny South as a "a lonesome record" and a return to the more spare sound of his 2007 self-recorded debut, But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted: "There was an atmospheric quality to my last two records; those albums are like a garden of sounds," says Amidon, "but this one is more of a journey, a winding path. The band comes rushing in and then they disappear. It comes from more of a darker, internal space."
A longtime admirer of Boys' work, Amidon was particularly enamored of his recordings with Martin Carthy in the 1970s, as well as the Ali Farka TourÉ/Toumani DiabatÉ duet albums on World Circuit/Nonesuch: "Those are so beautiful. I listened to all of that. I loved the sense of documentation, the unadorned quality. Everything sounded so clear."
The Vermont-born and raised, London-based Amidon is known for his reworking of traditional melodies into a new form. In addition to country ballads and shape-note hymns, Bright Sunny South features interpretations of traditional and contemporary songs, including Tim McGraw's "My Old Friend" and Mariah Carey's "Shake It Off." The record also includes a version of "Weeping Mary," a shape-note hymn that his parents, Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, had recorded with the Vermont-based Word of Mouth Chorus for Nonesuch Records on the 1977 disc Rivers of Delight: American Folk Hymns from the Sacred Harp Tradition.
Bright Sunny South follows 2010's critically acclaimed I See the Sign, which earned Amidon praise from SPIN for his "quirky alchemy contrasting pretty sounds with violent lyrical undercurrents" and Pitchfork, which said, "[Amidon's] interpretations are so singular that it stops mattering how (or if) they existed before."
Prior to I See the Sign, which was released on the Iceland-based label Bedroom Community, Amidon released But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted (Plug Research, 2007) and All Is Well (Bedroom Community, 2008). In addition to his solo albums, Amidon has collaborated on performances pieces with musical polymath Nico Muhly, toured as part of Thomas Bartlett's group Doveman and the Brooklyn band Stars Like Fleas, collaborated with Beth Orton, and embarked on a series of live shows with the guitarist Bill Frisell.
Sam Amidon, sing, banjo, fiddle, acoustic guitar; piano (8)
Thomas Bartlett, piano, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer, Moog synthesizer; percussion & electric guitar (11)
Shahzad Ismaily, electric & acoustic guitars, electric bass, Moog bass; drums (2); shaker egg (7)
Chris Vatalaro: drums & percussion; flute (6); a taste of the Wurli (2)
Kenny Wheeler, trumpet (2, 5)
Doug Wieselman, clarinets (11)
Tyler Gibbons, electric bass (10)
Produced by Sam Amidon, Jerry Boys, and Thomas Bartlett
Engineered and Mixed by Jerry Boys
Recorded at Snap Recording Studios and Livingston Studios, London
"Weeping Mary" Engineered by Patrick Dillett at No Fat Studios, New York, NY
Violin and bass on "Streets of Derry" Recorded by Tyler Gibbons at Red Heart Studios, Marlboro, VT
Assistant Engineers: Ben Mclusky at Snap; Sonny at Livingston
All songs are traditional, reworked & arranged by Sam Amidon, except track 4 written by McEwan/Wiseman, arranged by Sam Amidon and Thomas Bartlett; track 8 by Cox/Carey/Austin/Dupri, arranged by Sam Amidon; track 11 by McCurry/Power, arranged by Sam Amidon and Thomas Bartlett
Design by John Gall
Executive Producer: David Bither1. Bright Sunny South
2. I Wish I Wish
3. Short Life
4. My Old Friend
5. He's Taken My Feet
7. As I Roved Out
8. Shake It Off
10. Streets of Derry
11. Weeping Mary$24.99Vinyl LP + Bonus 7 - Sealed Buy Now
I'll Find A Way
Features Special Guests: Casey Dienel of White Hinterland, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Patty Grifn, Sam Amidon, And Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond
Produced by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver, Kathleen Edwards), I'll Find a Way is a unique collaboration between one of popular music's longest-running acts and one of its fastest-rising stars. Known primarily for his work in the indie and folk realms, the Bon Iver frontman proved a perfect fit to work with the Blind Boys, exhibiting a deep knowledge and
appreciation of gospel music. Vernon, and old friend and band mate Phil Cook (Megafaun, The Shouting Matches) corralled a lively backing band for the album and hand-picked a range of songs for the Blind Boys to sing. I'll Find a Way features some of the Blind Boys' most fervent vocals as well as contributions by a new generation of Blind Boys
fans - Sam Amidon, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Casey Dienel of White Hinterland, Patty Grifn and Justin Vernon himself. The result is a rousing collection of gospel songs, new and old, that address life's most desperate hours but also savor the triumphs and reassurances of faith.
I'll Find a Way represents a strong new chapter for the Blind Boys of Alabama, whose career stretches back more than seventy years. Formed in the late 1930s at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in Talladega, the group has harmonized throughout
the turbulent twentieth century and well into the twenty-rst: from Jim Crow through Civil Rights and into the Obama era. They have, however, enjoyed some of their biggest and most rousing successes in the last ten years, during which they've won ve Grammys, four Gospel Music Awards and multiple invitations to sing at the White House.
For I'll Find a Way, their ninth studio album of the twenty-rst century, the Blind Boys of Alabama - which includes Jimmy Carter, Eric "Ricky" McKinnie, Joey Williams, Tracy Pierce, Ben Moore and newest addition Paul Beasley - decamped to the wintry wild of rural Wisconsin to record at Vernon's April Base studio. Known primarily for his work in the indie and folk realms, the Bon Iver frontman proved a perfect t to work with the Blind Boys, exhibiting a deep knowledge and appreciation of gospel
"It's not just singing," explains the 82-year-old Carter. "We're bringing the message to the people, and that message is the good news of God. We sing from the heart, and what comes from the heart reaches the heart. If you have any feeling in you,
you will feel the Blind Boys."1. God Put A Rainbow In The Cloud
2. I'll Find A Way (to Carry It All) (Featuring Shara Worden Of My Brightest Diamond)
3. I Am Not Waiting Anymore (Featuring Sam Amidon)
4. I Shall Not Be Moved
5. Take Me To The Water
6. I've Been Searching (Featuring Merrill Garbus Of Tune-yards)
7. There Will Never Be Any Peace (until God Is Seated At The Conference Table) (Featuring Casey Dienel Of White Hinterland)
8. Take Your Burden To The Lord And Leave It There
9. Every Grain Of Sand (Featuring Justin Vernon Of Bon Iver)
10. My God Is Real
11. Jubilee (Featuring Patty Griffin)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Strange WeatherAnna Calvi is to release a 5 track covers EP entitled 'Strange Weather.' Produced by Thomas Bartlett
(The National, Antony and the Johnsons, Sam Amidon) and recorded in New York, the EP features
covers of tracks by FKA twigs, Connan Mockasin, Suicide, David Bowie as well as a stunning
collaboration with David Byrne on the title track, a cover of Keren Ann's 'Strange Weather'.
The cover of Suicide's Ghost Rider was recorded with drummer Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley), and Nico
Muhly contributes string arrangements to the EP opener, a deconstructed organic reworking of FKA
twigs' 'Papi Pacify.'
David Byrne said the following on working with Anna:
'I'm a big fan of Anna's two records... and I caught her tour after her first record at Bowery Ballroom
here in NY. 'Epic' I think is the word that is often used. So when Thomas Bartlett said he was going to
be in the studio producing an EP of Anna doing covers I immediately agreed to join in. I was invited
to suggest songs and I loved the last Keren Ann record and I thought Strange Weather had a haunting
quality that might suit Anna.... so we did that, and Anna then suggested I join in on the Connan
Mockasin track she'd done too.'1. Papi Pacify
2. I'm The Man, That Will Find You
3. Ghost Rider
4. Strange Weather
5. Lady Grinning Soul$18.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl EP - Sealed Buy Now
I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of UsInlcudes Art Print Poster
New Project Led By Montreal Cellist Rebecca Foon
(ESMERINE, SILVER MT ZION, SET FIRE TO FLAMES)
• Features Jamie Thompson (UNICORNS) and Guest Players from LITTLE SCREAM, PATRICK WATSON BAND
and BELL ORCHESTRE
• Recorded and Mixed by Grammy-Winning Engineer
Mark Lawson (ARCADE FIRE)
Saltland is the new project led by Montreal-based cellist Rebecca Foon, best
known as a founding member of contemporary chamber group Esmerine and a former
member of Thee Silver Mt. Zion and Set Fire To Flames. Foon began composing solo
work in 2010, featuring multi-layered cello and hushed vocals at the intersection of
drone, no-wave, improv, dream-pop and minimalism. Joined by Jamie Thompson
(Unicorns, Esmerine) on miniature percussion, programming and signal processing,
Foon's live performances in Montreal and abroad over the past two years have seen
her sound progress towards gently rhythmic and electronic territory as well. She has
transfixed audiences with this new music while sharing the stage with Mary Margaret
O'Hara, Julia Kent, Nat Baldwin and Sam Amidon, among others. As her largely homerecorded debut album began taking shape throughout 2011, with numerous guests
contributing to various pieces, Foon adopted the Saltland moniker for this work.
I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us is a beautifully restrained debut
album that telescopes the directness and economy of Foon's compositional and vocal
styles into lush, twilight atmospheres aglow with luminescent tendrils and flickering
particles. Foon sings of childhood innocence lost, of tender utopic reveries and
downcast dystopic horizons, and the search for soft, stoic strength in a darkening,
devolving world. Foon's voice is discreet but defined, drifting on buoyant currents of
sound sourced from her plucked and bowed cello lines, in most cases propelled by
Thompson's bespoke percussion and understated programming/processing, with
touches of guitar, bass, horns, woodwinds, strings and backing vocals added by a cast
of supporting players. The record unfurls like a gauzy flag in a restless breeze at dusk:
a delicate, resolute sentinel set against the fading light.
The album's ambience also owes much to the work of Mark Lawson, the awardwinning engineer (Arcade Fire) who collaborated closely with Foon to record and mix
these songs at Six Saint V, her apartment studio in Montreal. Lawson, along with
friend and percussionist Thompson, helped to forge a balance between lo-fi intimacy
and shimmering breadth with these recordings, remaining faithful to the all-anologue
instrumentation of the source material while judiciously deploying signal processing
strategies to subtly refract, saturate and expand the sonic landscape. With
contributions from Laurel Sprengelmeyer and Jess Robertson (Little Scream), Mishka
Stein (Patrick Watson), Colin Stetson (Bon Iver), Sarah Neufeld and Richard Reed Parry
(Arcade Fire) among others, Saltland offers up an unassumingly immersive debut
album of searching songs that blend several core influences into a distinctively
naturalistic sound. Saltland stakes out an unaffected, meditative, clear-eyed and
earnest space where minimalism, dream-pop, drone, shoegaze, confessional folk,
modern chamber and ambient/electronic coexist and coalesce.1. Golden Alley
2. I Thought It Was Us
3. Treehouse Schemes
5. But It Was All Of Us
6. Colour The Night Sky
8. Hearts Mend$25.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Folk SongsWhen Nonesuch Records celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, with festivals at London's Barbican Centre and New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Kronos Quartet joined forces with four labelmates-Sam Amidon, Olivia Chaney, Rhiannon Giddens, and Natalie Merchant-to perform a concert entitled Folk Songs. The group later recorded the songs, most of which are traditional with contemporary arrangements, with Doug Petty as the album's producer.1. Oh Where (feat. Sam Amidon) [Trad. arr. Nico Muhly]
2. Ramblin' Boy (feat. Olivia Chaney) [Trad./W.B. Yeats arr. Donnacha Dennehy]
3. The Butcher's Boy (feat. Natalie Merchant) [Trad. arr. Jacob Garchik]
4. Factory Girl (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) [Trad./Rhiannon Giddens arr. Gabriel Witcher]
5. Last Kind Words (Geeshie Wiley arr. Jacob Garchik)
6. I See the Sign (feat. Sam Amidon) [Trad. arr. Nico Muhly]
7. Montaigne, que tu es haute (feat. Olivia Chaney) [Trad. arr. Jacob Garchik]
8. Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier (feat. Natalie Merchant) [Trad. arr. Jacob Garchik]
9. Lullaby (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) [Rhiannon Giddens arr. Gabriel Witche]$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now