Album: Sam Amidon, I See The Sign (Bedroom Community)

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An indication of the changing terrain of folk music can be gleaned from American singer Sam Amidon's fourth solo album I See The Sign.

Where once it was the preserve of horny-handed sailors, farm labourers and industrial activists, folk nowadays takes its lead from the hippie variant devised by such as John Martyn and The Incredible String Band. Accordingly, the mostly traditional material covered here by Amidon is swathed in the string and horn arrangements of Nico Muhly and embellished with the worldly percussion and textural contributions of Shahzad Ismaily, resulting in a chamber-folk blend with ethnic touches. The opener "How Come That Blood" is typical, with thumb-piano and guiro forming a percussion bed for Amidon's drawled delivery. Even an unexpected cover of R. Kelly's "Relief" takes on a sanctified tone here.

Download this: How Come That Blood; Way Go Lily; I See The Sign; You Better Mind