Sam Amidon Bright Sunny South on LP + 7" + Download
Bright Sunny South is the critically acclaimed Nonesuch Records label debut from Sam Amidon. Produced by Amidon with his childhood friend and longtime collaborator Thomas Bartlett (aka 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.
The Vermont native/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, 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 Frisell.
Bright Sunny South is now being issued on vinyl with a download of the album and a bonus vinyl 7” disc featuring the two previously unreleased recordings, "Won't Turn Back" and an acoustic version of "Weeping Mary."
Sam Amidon Bright Sunny South Track Listing:
1. 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
A1. Won't Turn Back
B1. Weeping Mary" (acoustic)