Sam Amidon

Sam Amidon thought he had a pretty good idea what direction his new album Lily-O was going to go. Then he started recording it. Due Sept. 30 on Nonesuch Records, what turned out to be a collection of distinctive, enveloping songs rooted in folk music didn't begin that way at all.

In fact, the Vermont-born singer, guitarist, fiddler and banjo player had initially envisioned an album based more on the improvisational material he and jazz guitar great Bill Frisell developed together a couple of years ago while touring New England as a duo.

"I thought it was going to be a much more instrumental, weird album of fiddle stuff and snatches of melodies and a little bit of singing, but really strange," Amidon says. "I didn't set out for this album to be as much of a songs record as it ended up being."

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