The Rescue Rooms archives: 2012

Beth Orton, Beth Orton live at The Rescue Rooms

  • Thursday 6th December 2012
  • Supported by: Special Guest: Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou

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BRIT award-winning folktronica legend Beth Orton returns to The Rescue Rooms to play an intimate gig.

Beth Orton will release 'Sugaring Season,' her first album in six years and her Anti- Records debut, on October 1. Recorded in Portland, Oregon, with producer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists), the album bears the fruits of a period of introspection & renewal: deeply lyrical songwriting, a newfound expressivity of voice, and, more than ever before, a daring synthesis of her broad musical influences into a powerfully individual artistic vision. "I stretched myself as a singer on this record and used voices I never have before as a writer," she explains. "A lot of the writing on this record happened in the dead of night, when spiders mend their webs, with an infant asleep in the next room... as a result, my writing became a secret again: illicit and my own."

Go here to listen to the new track "Something More Beautiful":

For 'Sugaring Season,' Orton and Martine have brought together a dream band of new and old friends: keyboardist Rob Burger, bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and legendary jazz drummer Brian Blade, along with guitarists Marc Ribot and Ted Barnes and folksinger Sam Amidon. The album was recorded predominantly live on the floor as the band reflected and internalized Beth's disparate inspirations, from Roberta Flack's 'First Take' album to Pentangle's folk-jazz collisions. The songs range across styles from deeply soulful to effortless and breezy, with open-tuned guitars, pensive pianos, and modal grooves underpinning her emotional weathervane of a voice.

While Orton has shifted away from the electronic textures that dominated her early work, her music is still built upon an implicit groove, even if it emanates from her acoustic guitar rather than from a sequencer. "It may not be a 'dance' beat," she says, "but it's definitely there and it's earthed and primal and insistent."

Beth Orton is a BRIT Award-winner and two-time Mercury Prize nominee who has collaborated with Bert Jansch, Emmylou Harris, Beck, Jim O'Rourke, Terry Callier, and Ryan Adams among others. Her last album, 2006's 'Comfort of Strangers,' was called "unerringly lovely" by SPIN and "her most accomplished record to date" by Uncut.

Plus support from Special Guest...


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Sam Amidon was born and raised in Brattleboro, Vermont by folk musicians Peter and Mary Alice Amidon. He has released three albums of radically re-worked folksongs: "But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted," recorded at his then-home of Harlem in 2006 with Thomas Bartlett; followed by "All Is Well" in 2008 and "I See The Sign" in 2010, both recorded in Iceland with producer Valgeir Sigurðsson.

Sam sings, plays banjo and guitar and fiddle, draws comics and makes little video-stories, and can type at 120 words per minute. He's typing this bio right now, virtually at the speed of thought. Later, somebody will edit it.

Sam started on fiddle at the age of three and by eleven had formed a band called Popcorn Behavior, with childhood friend Thomas Bartlett and younger brother Stefan, to play New England fiddle tunes. They toured internationally, gathering attention from NPR, CNN and The Boston Globe and releasing five albums by the time they graduated from pretend high school which they did not really go to (at the time it was called "homeschooling"). His first solo album, released in 2001, was a collection of traditional Irish fiddle tunes, simply titled "Solo Fiddle."

By 17, Sam had taken up the banjo and fallen in love with free jazz, Miles Davis, early indie rock, drone minimalism, mountain ballads and Buster Keaton films. But it wasn't until he moved to New York City in 2002 that he began to play and experience first-hand all of these other kinds of things. Since then he has collaborated with a myriad of artists including Nico Muhly, Thomas Bartlett, Beth Orton, Shahzad Ismaily, Glen Hansard, and Bill Frisell.

Sam's folksong albums have received wide acclaim and have pulled many a soul back from the brink... his itinerant wanderings have taken him to far-off lands... and his solo performances have taken on a life and tenor of their own.  Sam's drawn comics and enigmatic home-made videos, the "self-inflicted field recordings" resulting from these internal and external journeys, have resulted in exhibitions at the Tony Shafrazi and Audio Visual Arts galleries in New York City, and the Gallery Kuhturm in Leipzig.  His audio-visual show/comics lecture "Home Alone Inside My Head" was premiered at NYC's The Kitchen in November 2010.

Sam, currently London-based, is finishing work on a new album and performing a series of AV shows throughout Europe this fall.  After reading a bunch of Henry James, Sam is now hard at work writing his own "pretend novel," called King Speechy, to be released by Penguin Classics in 2051 u feel me.

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