Too Hot To Sleep, the debut record from accordionist and pianist Sam Reider is the music that gets stuck in your head and keeps you up all night.
Reider, who has built a cult following leading regular midnight sets at one of the oldest dive bars in Brooklyn, conjured the music out of his insomnia. “I’ll come home at 2 am after improvising wild music all night and then lie awake while fragments of melodies run through my mind. Sometimes all I can do is get up and go the piano.”
What emerged is a record and an ensemble that breaks down any remaining boundaries between jazz, folk, and chamber music. The closest points of reference may be the Punch Brothers or the Goat Rodeo Sessions, but Reider reaches far beyond his roots in American music to draw on melodies and rhythms from around the world.
Beginning with an almost Morricone-inspired western piece, “The Murder,” the album follows a narrative of a journey through the underworld. From the blazing-fast “Swamp Dog Hobble” to the Klezmer/Balkan-tinged “Skeleton Rag,” the band’s virtuosity is totally captivating. Reider returns to his jazz roots in the title-track, “Too Hot To Sleep,” an otherworldly, Strayhorn-esque duet with crack alto saxophonist Eddie Barbash.
Reider, 29, is joined on the record by a group of young acoustic musicians in Brooklyn called The Human Hands, some of the best and brightest from the worlds of jazz and roots music: Violinist Alex Hargreaves (Turtle Island Quartet, Sarah Jarosz, Béla Fleck), saxophonist Eddie Barbash (Late Night with Stephen Colbert, Jon Batiste and Stay Human), guitarist Grant Gordy (David Grisman, Darol Anger, Aoife O'Donovan), mandolinist Dominick Leslie (Michael Daves, Tony Trischka, The Deadly Gentlemen), guitarist Roy Williams (Stephane Wrembel), and bassist Dave Speranza (Jim Campilongo).
Too Hot To Sleep will be released on February 3rd, 2018 in conjunction with a theatrical live performance that will incorporate immersive dance and special effects.
Jazz pianist turned roots musician, Sam Reider is redefining American music on the accordion. He’s been featured at Lincoln Center and on NPR, and performed alongside pop stars, virtuosos and folk musicians around the world ranging from Jon Batiste and Stay Human, to viral YouTube sensation CDZA and T-Pain, Americana singer Jim Lauderdale to Grammy Award-winning Venezuelan musician Jorge Glem.
Reider’s debut record Too Hot To Sleep presents his unique compositional voice alongside an ensemble of top-drawer musical collaborators and compadres called The Human Hands.
Reider grew up in San Francisco, the son of a musical theatre composer and klezmer musician. He was recognized at an early age for his talent at the piano but didn’t find the accordion until college when he moved to New York City and fell in love with folk music.
This set him off on a journey that has taken him from back porches and dive bars to concert halls and major festivals in practically every state in the country. Representing the U.S. Department of State as a musical ambassador, Sam has travelled to China, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Turkey and Azerbaijan, carrying his accordion on his back everywhere he goes and collaborating at every opportunity with international artists.
Now he’s surrounded himself with a crew of some of the most in-demand young acoustic musicians on the scene in Brooklyn. The Human Hands have developed a cultish following and a reputation for mind-bending sets of high-energy, improvised music.
* = with Phoebe Hunt and the Gatherers
^ = with Silver City Bound (bandleader)
^Folk Alliance International Conference, Kansas City, MO - 2015, 2016, 2017
^Philadelphia Folk Festival, Philadelphia, PA - 2013
^Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX - 2014
^Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York, NY - 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
^Swallow Hill Music Center, Denver, CO - 2015, 2017
^Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival, Guthrie, OK - 2014
^San Francisco Jazz Festival, San Francisco, CA - 2015
^Freight and Salvage, San Francisco, CA - 2014, 2015, 2016
^C-U Folk and Roots Festival, Urbana, IL - 2016
^City Winery, Nashville, TN - 2016
^Cotati Accordion Festival, Cotati, CA - 2015
^Accordions in Bryant Park Festival, New York, NY - 2016, 2017
^City Winery, New York, NY (opening for Sam Bush) - 2015
^UC Berkeley Botanic Garden Summer Series - 2017
^Blue Ridge Music Center, Galax, VA (opening for Carolina Chocolate Drops and headliner) - 2015, 2016
^Buffa's, New Orleans, LA - 2015, 2016, 2017
^Blue Moon Saloon, Lafayette, LA - 2016
^Carolina Theater, Greensboro, NC (opening for MIPSO) - 2016
^U.S. Department of State Tour of Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, China, Vietnam - 2014
^U.S. Department of State Tour of Azerbaijan and Istanbul, TK - 2016
*Pagosa Folk n' Bluegrass Festival, Pagosa Springs, CO - 2017
*The Basement, Nashville, TN - 2017
*Strawberry Music Festival, Grass Valley, CA - 2017
*Riverlink Concerts, Amsterdam, NY - 2017
*Le Fet de Marquette, Madison, NY - 2017
*Acoustic Fest, Manitowok, WI - 2017
*Levitt Shell, Memphis, TN - 2017
*Freight and Salvage, San Francisco, CA - 2017
*Palms Playhouse, Winters, CA - 2017
*The Hoot, Olivebridge, NY - 2017
*Sister Folk Festival, Sisters, OR - 2017
*Americana Music Awards Festival, Nashville, TN - 2017
Other Select Dates:
Mountain Top Arboretum, Tannersville, NY (Presented by Catskills Jazz Factory) - 2017
Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey, CA (with Ben Flocks Battle Mountain) - 2012
Yoshi's San Francisco, CA (with Uptown Trio) - 2007
Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. - 2011
YouTube Music Awards, New York, NY (with CDZA and T-Pain) - 2015
Blue Note, NYC (with Jon Batiste and Stay Human) - 2011
Great American Music Hall (featuring David Grisman and John Handy) - 2007
The Falcon, Marlboro, NY - regular shows 2009-2017