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Sam Amidon at Stone Church w/ Courtney Hartman
August 11 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Sam Amidon is an experimental folk musician (sing, banjo, guitar, fiddle) originally hailing from Vermont. He has released six acclaimed solo albums, initially on the Icelandic label Bedroom Community and then on Nonesuch Records. His most recent album is 2017s The Following Mountain.
Amidon’s material for these albums often consists of adventurous reworkings of traditional American ballads, hymns and work songs, with the New York Times writing that Amidon “transforms all of the songs, changing their colours and loading them with trapdoors.” The albums have been deeply collaborative in nature, inviting contributions from musicians such as composer Nico Muhly, guitarist Bill Frisell, and legendary percussionist Milford Graves.
Sam Amidon has also recorded or performed as a guest artists with musicians such as Bon Iver, Emmylou Harris, Tune-Yards, Jason Moran, and Amidons wife, Beth Orton. He has appeared internationally as a soloist performing with classical ensembles such as the Kronos Quartet, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and the Britten Sinfonia.
With her upcoming release, Ready Reckoner, Courtney Hartman provides the listener with a conduit for self-exploration—a factor that fulfills one of her greatest hopes in sharing the album with the world. “If you listen to any of these songs and step away feeling lifted or carried to a different place, that is a real and true honor,” she says. Born from purposeful self-examination, Ready Reckoner finds Hartman taking the helm as producer transforming her most private ruminations into songs both bracingly intimate and magnificently vast. In that process, the Loveland, Colorado-based artist worked in collaboration with co-producer Shahzad Ismaily (a multi-instrumentalist known for his work with Lou Reed and Tom Waits) and assembled a close-knit community of musicians, including guest appearances from Anais Mitchell and Bill Frisell. Recorded mainly at Figure8 in Brooklyn and mixed by Tucker Martine (Neko Case, My Morning Jacket), Ready Reckoner unfolds in extraordinarily detailed textures, a nuanced yet wholly unpredictable sound equally given to moments of hushed simplicity, improvisatory freedom, and flashes of symphonic splendor.
Hartman’s finely-honed musicality has firm roots in her upbringing, which included taking up violin at three, learning to play guitar at 11, and writing her first song at 12. She spent much of her childhood immersed in the bluegrass world, a factor that eventually led to her seven-year stint in Grammy-nominated band Della Mae. During her time with the band, Hartman also released a collaboration album with Robert Ellis (2017’s Dear John) and another with Taylor Ashton (2018’s Been on Your Side).