Sam Amidon mines the ‘intensity & strangeness’ of tradition to make music uniquely his own

Sam Amidon is a singer-songwriter on the fiddle, banjo, and guitar, but he’s mostly known for recasting traditional American folk songs into vibrant contemporary soundscapes. He spoke to NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Tom Casciato about his Vermont upbringing and how he pairs the sounds of traditional folk music to those of free jazz and more.

Hari Sreenivasan:

Singer, songwriter and musician Sam Amidon has been onstage for more than 35 of his almost 40 years. With 11 albums and collaborations with the likes of guitar maestro Bill Frisell, as well as with his wife, the noted British singer-songwriter Beth Orton, Amidon has developed a shining reputation for
taking something very old and making it sound brand new.

NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Tom Casciato has our story.

Tom Casciato:

Sam Amidon is a musical enigma of sorts. You might consider him a folk purist if you only heard him sing a traditional Appalachian tune like “Across the Blue Mountains.”

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