Sam Amidon is a singer and multi-instrumentalist originally hailing from Brattleboro, Vermont. He has released multiple albums of radically reimagined folksongs on the Bedroom Community and Nonesuch labels. Called "part preservationist, part visionary" by the Boston Globe, Sam offers reworkings of traditional American ballads, hymns and work songs, with the New York Times writing that he "transforms all of the songs, changing their colors and loading them with trapdoors." Along the way Sam has recorded or performed as a guest artists with musicians such as pianist Jason Moran, indie rock band Bon Iver, and Glen Hansard.
Flashpapr is a Michigan band, known (or faintly remembered) for playing broken folk music between 1996 and 2004. After a period of inactivity, Flashpapr now performs as a duo of its original members, Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good To Me) and Jacob Danziger (recordings with His Name Is Alive, Steve Roden, Cynthia Nelson, The Naysayer and Doveman). Along with Zach Wallace, Ben Bracken, and Ida Pearle, their three albums captured the sad and hopeful feeling of being alive, and their word-of-mouth live performances (in kitchens, living rooms, garages and back yards) were uncomfortably earnest attempts to invert the relationship between the band and audience. "You are my best friend, you are the most beautiful thing I keep inside my heart" was basically the idea.