David Amram Recalls Meeting Woody Guthrie

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“The Amigos have their own loose-limbed charm...serving up asprightly mixture of folk, country, mariachi, and more." - The New Yorker

THE AMIGOS perform high-energy, original Americana music blending country, zydeco/cajun, and jazz. With rockin' accordion solos, dare-devil harmony singing, and breathtaking matching western-wear, "the Amigos are like classic Grand Ole Opry stars, transposed into the bodies of young men" (The Time Jumpers).

Diner In The Sky is the first full-length release from The Amigos. Funded by a wildly successful crowd-sourcing campaign, the Amigos crafted this collection of original and traditional American songs in the second half of 2013. Recorded at The Honey Jar in Brooklyn, NY, Diner in the Sky was produced by Devin Greenwood, best known for his early work with Norah Jones, Sufjan Stevens, Amos Lee, and the Sweetback Sisters. The album also features collaborations with legendary musician, composer, and conductor David Amram.

Accordionist Sam Reider and guitarist Justin Poindexter composed all the original material, drawing on a wide range of influences from The Band and The Rolling Stones to Woody Guthrie and George Gershwin. From the foot-stomping, cajun-infused pop refrains of “Katie” and “Cabin On The Hill” to the soul-rock anthem, “Don’t You Wait” and the simple intimacy of “More Than Friends,” Diner In The Sky digs deep into American musical history with reverence and creativity.

Joining the Amigos for the title track, violinist Andy Stein (Commander Cody, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks) is featured on "Diner In The Sky," a whimsical, after-hours ode to the all-night diners that dot the highway along the Amigos’ tour routes. The album closes with the swaggering swamp-rock of “Young At The Heart,” which could serve as an alternate title for an album bursting with youth, vitality, and soul.

Diner in the Sky presents eight original compositions along with the American classics, "The Wayfaring Stranger," "Hey Joe," and "California Blues." These traditional songs are brought to life with lush instrumentation, tight harmony singing, and collective improvisation led by Amram, whose spontaneous, joyful melodies are woven throughout each arrangement. Accordion, soaring steel guitar, folkloric flutes and woodwinds, and a relentless groove take the listener on a psychedelic journey through an American musical landscape shaped by old-time country, jazz, cajun, and rock and roll.

Amram is well-known for his associations with Jack Kerouac, Leonard Bernstein, (who chose him as The New York Philharmonic's first composer-in-residence in 1966), Dizzy Gillespie, Langston Hughes, Willie Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Odetta, Arthur Miller, and Charles Mingus.

The Amigos' sold-out series at Jazz at Lincoln Center has been featured in the New Yorker and Time Out NY. The band has appeared recently with Pete Seeger, Jim Lauderdale, The Time Jumpers with Vince Gill, Nellie McKay, and Ranger Doug of Riders in the Sky. In 2014 they will tour China, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and Vietnam as musical ambassadors for the U.S. State Department’s American Music Abroad program. In addition to touring, the Amigos conduct over fifty educational workshops in NYC public schools each year, sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz for Young People program. They have been selected for an official showcase at the 2014 Folk Alliance International conference.

"The Amigos are one of the hottest new bands to come to my attention. Singing, playing, dancing around the mic in bright matching shirts ... they have a visual thing going on that most bands lack... more fun and exciting than anything I could have imagined. They are new and refreshing, and I'm very proud of presenting them." - Gene Shay, WXPN

"On rare occasions, you see and hear musicians who make a lasting impression on you. The Amigos are that kind of band. Brilliant improvisers, with impeccable classical training, they already have a mastery of styles ranging from the music of Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rodgers to the complex beauty of Thelonious Monk's compositions.” - David Amram

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from Diner In The Sky, released January 21, 2014

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The Amigos Band New York, New York

The Amigos, who were selected in 2013 by the U.S. State Department to represent American music abroad, perform high-energy, original Americana music blending country, zydeco/cajun, and jazz. With rockin' accordion solos, dare-devil harmony singing, and breathtaking matching western-wear, "the Amigos are like classic Grand Ole Opry stars, transposed into the bodies of young men" (The Time Jumpers). ... more

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