Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Samuel Tear, aka Sam Amidon, began playing fiddle at the age of three. Raised by musician parents on a steady diet of Irish and Appalachian folk in Brattleboro, Vermont, Amidon spent the early arc of his teens performing and recording traditional dance and avant folk music with his parents, as well as his own group, Assembly.
He added banjo and guitar to his repertoire after relocating to New York City, where he began collaborating with longtime friend Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), as well as a host of other acts like Tall Firs, the Swell Season, and Stares. He released his debut album, ‘Solo Fiddle’, in 2003, followed in 2007 by ‘But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted’ and ‘All Is Well’ in 2008.
Amidon married singer/songwriter Beth Orton and the two had a son in 2011. Output remained strong from Amidon as he entered into family life, with new volumes arriving in the form of 2009’s duet with percussionist Aaron Siegel, ‘Fiddle and Drum’, 2010’s ‘I See the Sign’, and for Nonesuch, 2013’s ‘Bright Sunny South’ and 2014’s ‘Lily-O’; the latter featured guitar legend Bill Frisell.
In 2015, ‘But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted’ was reissued in an expanded edition from Omnivore Records after years out of print. His first album to consist entirely of original songs, ‘The Following Mountain’ arrived via Nonesuch in 2017. It was produced by Leo Abrahams (Regina Spektor, Frightened Rabbit) and featured guests including veteran jazz drummer Milford Graves.