Sam Amidon has announced the release of a new album Lily-O which will be released on 30 September via Nonesuch Records (with vinyl to come October 28). The album was produced by his good friend Valgeir Sigurðsson, Icelandic producer, composer and engineer who is also the founder of Bedroom Community with whom Sam toured with as part of The Whale Watching Tour (read our feature).
The album also features the innovative jazz guitarist and composer Bill Frisell a personal hero of Amidon’s who first heard him at the Village Vanguard as a teenager. Alongside Frisell is Amidon’s other frequent collaborators, bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Chris Vatalaro. The album features 10 songs which are mainly traditional folk songs which Amidon places his own trademark stamp upon. His unique interpretation is something we’ve come to love and admire on FRUK where he first featured in 2007 with But This Chicken Proved False Hearted.
Talking about the making of the album he said “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.”
Here’s a taste of what’s to come with “Walkin’ Boss”. On the song Sam said it was “one of the first songs I learned on the banjo, by playing along with a recording by Jeff Davis as a teenager…As it happens this is also the first tune that we recorded during the sessions, on a crisp October morning in Reykjavik.”
Sam Amidon tours in Europe this summer and performs as part of Nonesuch’s 50th anniversary celebration, Nonesuch Records at BAM in Brooklyn, NY. Additional US shows will be announced soon.