My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #33

Number 33

Born 27 years ago in a small town called Brattleboro, which rests in the state of Vermont, it was inevitable that if Sam Amidon were to take an interest in folk songwriting (which he obviously has) then it would most likely turn out well for both him and his listeners. I say inevitable because he was raised by two well-known folk artists, a couple by the name of Peter and Marey Alice Amidon, who together (besides being “Peter & Mary”) have taught at elementary schools and led singing at many northeast festivals for years. The influence on their son, who releases his albums under the moniker, Samamidon, is as you would expect when you listen to his music: profound. His debut record, But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted, was released in 2007 and proved to be a fine introduction to the banjo-lovin’ artist, full of all the freshness and promise of something special in the future that a shining first album normally displays. It didn’t take long for Sam to deliver his sophomore record, the sublimely mellow, All Is Well. He traveled to Iceland to record these ten songs, which all come together to make a powerful sophomore effort as he spins his takes on traditional folk songs, fusing in just a tad of the modern world inside each one, creating a wholly beautiful experience that doesn’t sound like anything I heard all year. “Sugar Baby” slowly rides in, and then the rest of the album is ready to envelope you. “Little Satchel” should stand the test of time, and maybe with some gradual exposure to a wider audience, Mr. Amidon will have a long and flourishing career in music. One can only hope.

1.Sugar Baby
2.Little Johnny Brown
3.Saro
4.Wild Bill Jones
5.Wedding Dress
6.Fall On My Knees
7.Little Satchel
8.O Death
9.Prodigal Son
10.All Is Well

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