Pitchfork Review – Sam Amidon ‘Juma Mountain’
Whether finding hope in the gospel or finding the gospel in R. Kelly, Sam Amidon’s best work has been an ongoing search for wisdom within our collective consciousness, exploring every inch of the American songbook to better understand the present landscape. “Juma Mountain” comes from Amidon’s new album The Following Mountain, his first set of all-original material, but it bears the mark of the time-worn songs through which he found his voice. That particular voice—a mumbly warble that’s half-yodel and half-whisper—has grown richer with time. In “Juma Mountain,” he repeats a series of unresolved thoughts (“If I had wings, if I had wings,” then “What a voice, what a voice”) in an improvisational haze, his fingerpicked guitar adding ellipses behind his words. The music is jazzy and percussive, bowing beneath him softly like a sunset and carrying him to a place where he sounds at ease—like this is where all those years of wandering have led him.