All Is Well (album)

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All Is Well
All Is Wel cover.jpg
Studio album by
RecordedGreenhouse Studios, Reykjavík
LabelBedroom Community
ProducerValgeir Sigurðsson
Sam Amidon chronology
But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted
All Is Well
I See the Sign
Professional ratings
Review scores
Stylus MagazineA[2]
LAS Magazine[3]
Scene Point Blank[6]
The Milk Factory[7]

All Is Well is the second album by the singer and multi-instrumentalist Sam Amidon, released in 2008. It was produced and mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson at Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik and released on the Bedroom Community label. The album features Amidon's reworkings of traditional folk songs (mostly Appalachian), with chamber-orchestra arrangements by composer Nico Muhly and additional contributions from violist Eyvind Kang, electronic musician Ben Frost, and percussionists Aaron Siegel and Stefan Amidon.[8]

Background and Recording[edit]

Amidon had recorded his first album of songs, But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted, with his childhood friend Thomas Bartlett, at their apartment in Harlem. Bartlett gave a copy of the as-yet-unreleased Chicken songs to his friend Nico Muhly, who in turn brought the recordings to Iceland, where he passed along copies to Bjork and producer Valgeir Sigurdsson, both of whom Muhly was collaborating with on various projects.

Upon hearing Amidon's music, Sigurðsson and Muhly, who were forming the Bedroom Community label with electronic composer Ben Frost, invited Amidon to come to Reykjavik for the 2006 Airwaves Festival.[9] One night during the visit, Amidon put down the basic tracks for what was to become All Is Well, late at night, with Valgeir engineering. As with Amidon's first album, the material for the songs drew from traditional folk sources such as Dock Boggs and Bessie Jones, with the music and song structures reworked dramatically by Amidon. Nico Muhly's chamber-orchestra arrangements were scored for brass, woodwinds, and strings.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

All Is Well received a positive reception from critics. David Fricke, writing in Rolling Stone Magazine, said that “In an era of overheated Nick Drake comparisons, Amidon is eerily close to the real thing, singing in a fragile but certain tenor against the deep breath and soft sweep of Nico Muhly’s orchestrations. A better analogy is the big quiet in Björk’s Vespertine and Medúlla albums. Producer Valgeir Sigurðsson worked on both records; he conjures a similar, pregnant resonance here around Amidon’s voice and plucked-wire guitar — a public domain that is all inner space.”[11] Musician Glen Hansard has written that the album “brings me huge comfort - it speaks across time somehow. Sam has taken some very old traditional folksongs and reworked them into new and delicate phrasings… I revisit this album over and over again.”[12]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Sugar Baby" - 5:24
  2. "Little Johnny Brown" - 4:30
  3. "Saro" - 3:23
  4. "Wild Bill Jones" - 5:28
  5. "Wedding Dress" - 4:34
  6. "Fall On My Knees" - 4:18
  7. "Little Satchel" - 4:18
  8. "O Death" - 5:17
  9. "Prodigal Son" - 6:19
  10. "All Is Well" - 4:25


Produced, recorded and mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson Wind/brass/string arrangements by Nico Muhly


  1. ^ Ned Raggett. "Allmusic review". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  2. ^ Mathers, Ian (October 30, 2007). "Sam Amidon – All Is Well". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  3. ^ Toropov, Dave (March 11, 2008). "Sam Amidon – All Is Well". LAS Magazine. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  4. ^ Duesner, Stephen M (February 8, 2008). "Sam Amidon – All Is Well". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  5. ^ Mathers, Ian (March 10, 2008). "Sam Amidon – All Is Well". PopMatters. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  6. ^ Campbell (August 12, 2008). "Sam Amidon – All Is Well". Scene Point Blank. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  7. ^ themilkman (October 30, 2007). "Sam Amidon – All Is Well". The Milk Factory. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  8. ^ "Bedroom Community > All is Well". Archived from the original on 2017-03-17. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  9. ^ "Tonight Will be Fine: A History of Iceland's Bedroom Community label".
  10. ^ "Sam Amidon interview by Lyndon Pike". 29 July 2007.
  11. ^ "Fricke's Picks: Samamidon". Rolling Stone. 28 February 2008.
  12. ^ "Cara Magazine by Image Publications - Issuu".

External links[edit]