Born in 1981 and raised in Vermont by folk-musician parents, Sam Amidon sings and plays fiddle, banjo, and guitar. As a teenager, Amidon rose to acclaim as a fiddler, releasing five albums with his band Popcorn Behavior. A musician who glides through unlikely set of genres from traditional folk to free jazz, Amidon has released four solo albums, and also plays in the New York-based indie-rock bands Doveman and Stars Like Fleas. After a seven-year stint in New York City, Amidon has been fully itinerant since 2008 as he tours and collaborates with a roster of renowned musicians, including Shahzad Ismaily, Nico Muhly, Thomas Bartlett, Ben Frost, and Valgeir Sigurðsson.
His second solo album of songs, But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted was a collaboration with Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman). Amidon quickly followed this with his second album, All Is Well, released by Bedroom Community in 2008. All Is Well was produced by Valgeir Sigurðsson, with orchestral arrangements by Nico Muhly and contributions from Stefan Amidon, Ben Frost, Eyvind Kang, and Aaron Siegel. In 2009, Amidon debuted Muhly’s reworked folk composition “The Only Tune” at Carnegie Hall, a composition also appearing on Muhly’s 2009 Bedroom Community album Mothertongue. Amidon also released the 2009 LP Fiddle and Drum, featuring free improvisation with Siegel.
On Amidon’s new release, I See The Sign, he works with old-time melodies and lyrics as a starting point for creating atmosphere. His long-time collaborator, Shahzad Ismaily – a multi-instrumentalist and composer who has worked with a diverse range of musicians including Laurie Anderson, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Jolie Holland, Rage Against the Machine, Lou Reed, and Tom Waits – proved foundational to the creation of I See The Sign.The album features three children’s singing games popularized by Georgia Sea Islands songstress Bessie Jones, recomposed by Amidon to expose maturity and unease. Each of Amidon’s albums has shone with the care and support offered by his collaborators, and never is this clearer than on the sweeping epic of I See The Sign.
Amidon draws comics and makes videos. His work has shown in the galleries Kuhturm in Leipzig, Audio Visual Arts in New York City, and in a multimedia performance at New York’s Museum of Art and Design.