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Tiny Desk Concerts from NPR's All Songs Considered features your favorite musicians performing at Bob Boilen's desk in the NPR Music office. This is the AUDIO only archive.Are you a fancy A/V nerd and need video? Visit our new Tiny Desk Concert video channel. Eye-popping video and all of the music you've come to expect.

Sam Amidon & Bill Frisell: Tiny Desk Concert

Sam Amidon takes traditional music and makes it his own. He might begin with a traditional murder ballad and then morph it into something of his own, fueled by Bill Frisell's languidly atmospheric guitar, Shahzad Ismaily's minimal but essential percussion and Amidon's own yearning voice. At other times, Amidon weaves his own new tunes into worn, weary, seemingly ageless sagas.

Amidon has been doing this for a long time. In 1998, back when he was 16, NPR aired a story about his Vermont contra-dance band Popcorn Behavior, a group he'd assembled with his friend Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman). Sixteen years later, Amidon has made a gorgeous new album, Lily-O, and performed a pair of its songs at the Tiny Desk — followed by "Short Life," from his 2013 album Bright Sunny South.

Set List

  • "Blue Mountains"
  • "Pat Do This, Pat Do That"
  • "Short Life"
  • Credits

    Producers: Bob Boilen, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Nick Michael, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: Susan Hale Thomas; photo by Susan Hale Thomas/NPR

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.
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