Sam Amidon, Slightly Cracked Folk-Singer Extraordinaire, Is Playing The Kitchen November 19-20


The roving, placid, pleasingly off-putting Sam Amidon, he of the dulcet voice and occasional blood-curdling mid-murder-ballad screams, is an SOTC favorite, soothing and off-putting in equal measure, so you know that an event titled “An Evening With Sam Amidon” will deliver at least a few moments of cheerful unease that rise above your typical “An Evening With” sort of evening. To wit: He’ll be doing a two-night stand at the Kitchen November 19-20, mixing his “intuitive and often radical reworkings of secular ballads, gospel, folk songs, and hymns with interludes of disjunctive storytelling, field recordings, and video.”

Of course pointing this out is really an excuse to revisit, on this thoroughly unnerving Election Day, Amidon’s gorgeous cover of R. Kelly’s “Relief,” a song that, as Amidon is fond of pointing out in concert, celebrates a calm, peaceful, problem-free America that does not, of course, exist in the slightest, and yet the song briefly convinces you that it might, actually, someday. It’s a good day for a song like that; just tune out the “War is over” part and you’ll be fine: