Friday in Columbus: Sam Amidon

Sam Amidon is bringing his one-man multimedia storytelling and folk song explorations to the Wexner Center, Friday, February 18th — fresh from a weekend of shows with Nico Muhly and the Brooklyn Youth Choir, where his interpretation of an 18th Century hymn, “Jerusalem,” was a highlight. Amidon mixes banjo, voice and old folk gems to create what Pitchfork describes as a “meld (of) the rural and the urban, the organic and the synthetic, the oral tradition and the written score.”

Amidon collects songs and ideas, along with field recordings and drawings, and publishes Twitter poetry. His work isn’t limited to old tunes. He contributed a cover of Neil Young’s “The Needle and the Damage Done” to the tribute album Harvest revisited, produced by MOJO Magazine. This fall he released a cover of R. Kelly’s “Relief” (stream above).

Amidon has released two full-length records on Iceland’s Bedroom Community Records, often collaborating with label mates Nico Muhly and Ben Frost, as well as Thomas Bartlett (Doveman). The New York Times describes Amidon’s latest, I See the Sign: “Playing guitar or banjo as he sings, he transforms all of [the songs], changing their colors and loading them with trapdoors. He slows them down and rewrites their harmonies, making curious, arty, quiet pop in his own mood – ornery, sensitive, distant. “I See the Sign” is a seriously intelligent record.”

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