Amidon back in town for special show

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BRATTLEBORO — Native son Sam Amidon will be back in town this weekend for a special performance at the Stone Church, 210 Main Street, at 7 p.m. Sunday, August 11. Courtney Hartman will be opening for him.

Amidon grew up in Brattleboro, where he was immersed the world of traditional music and dance with his parents, Peter and Mary Alice Amidon. At the age of 13 he formed the nationally acclaimed contra dance band "Popcorn Behavior" with his brother Stefan and with friend Thomas Bartlett (later joined by Keith Murphy).

Now living in London with his wife, singer/songwriter Beth Orton, Amidon is an experimental folk musician (sing, banjo, guitar, fiddle). He has released six solo albums, initially on the Icelandic label Bedroom Community and then on Nonesuch Records. His most recent album is 2017's "The Following Mountain."

Amidon's material for these albums often consists of adventurous reworkings of traditional American ballads, hymns and work songs. 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. 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," 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.

Tickets for the show are $17-20 available at stonechurchvt.com

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