SAM WEBER - NEW AGILE FREEDOM
RELEASE DATE : AUGUST 31, 2018
Sam Weber is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in the vein of Jackson Browne, The Band, The Wood Brothers and Gillian Welch. He has been touring independently and internationally with his band since 2013. Years spent refining songs at home in North Saanich, BC and working in studios in Los Angeles have honed Weber’s craft to a fine point. His live show pairs heartfelt songwriting with world-class musicianship and 3-part harmony. He has released two LPs to date, Shadows in the Road (2014) and Valentina Nevada (2016). Through the characters and anecdotes in his songs, Weber sings about the truths of love, life and family. He and his band are releasing and touring a new EP, New Agile Freedom, this summer.
Sam was born into a musical family. He started piano lessons when he was 6 years old but made a swift transition to the electric guitar the fist time he heard the Aerosmith song “Dream On”. When he was 14 he began teaching guitar at his community music school to make money and started playing cover gigs at Mary’s Bleue Moon Café and other restaurants around his hometown in a family band.
In the summer of 2011, Sam attended a summer program at the Berklee College of Music on scholarship. He was one of ten other young songwriters chosen to perform in front of his class at the Berklee Performance Center. During that time he shared private songwriting classes with pop-star Maggie Rogers; the two have remained friends ever since.
While at school in Boston, he snuck out of his dorm after curfew and rode the train to Cambridge to hear Adrianne Lenker (Big Thief) play a show at a small art gallery. In interviews, he cites Adriannes performance as one of the most compelling he’s ever seen.
Despite being offered a scholarship to attend Berklee full time, he returned home to North Saanich and began learning how to record himself properly. During his last few years of high-school, Sam met and started playing shows with likeminded classmates at school. It was during this time he met long-time drummer and collaborator, Marshall Wildman. While the two were still underage, they would go out to bars on school nights and play shows until 2 AM.
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By the end of his senior year in high school Sam was working in studios recording other bands and completing his first LP, Shadows in the Road. The album was picked up by Canadian label Cordova Bay Records who signed him to a modest two-album deal. His music caught the ear of music journalist Anil Prasad, who interviewed Sam for a three page feature in Guitar Player Magazine. Sam remains one of the youngest people ever to be featured by the publication.
The subsequent years of Weber’s life were spent on and off the road touring Shadows in the Road and writing for what would become the second LP, Valentina Nevada. Compared to Shadows in the Road’s lush production, the tone of Valentina Nevada is organic, serious and personal; a collection of collaborative, thoughtful, both real and fabricated story-songs about the road, built around the core members and sounds of his touring band.
The Valentina record marked the beginning of Weber’s ongoing attempt to cultivate more of band dynamic around his songs.
The Valentina touring cycle also broke Weber into the Western United States touring market. He performed 50+ shows over the summer and fall of 2018. This included a KEXP affiliated concert series in Seattle, WA, and numerous brewery and bar shows on a multi-state routing through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon and California.
Cuts from Sam Weber’s first two records have been placed in Canadian TV shows Workin’ Moms, Heartland and acclaimed Cracked web series Peoplewatching.
While touring Valentina, Sam and Marshall caught the ear of LA producer and musician Tyler Chester (Blake Mills, Margaret Glaspy, Jackson Browne). Through Tyler’s friendship and guidance, Sam and Marshall began spending more time in the Los Angeles music scene exposing them to a community of world- class players and writers.
During their extended visits and the 20 hour red-eye drives to and from Los Angeles, Sam began writing a third release, New Agile Freedom - EP; a seven song self-produced collection of tracks recorded on and off the road between California and home in North Saanich, BC. All the songs on New Agile Freedom feature minimal production and were recorded live either at his home in North Saanich or in Los Angeles.
The first single and first track from New Agile Freedom, “Ain’t it Always”, begins with the lines: “Ain’t it always true the one you really want is far away from you on another’s arm” over a bed of syncopated electric guitars and rhythms. Rhythm is Weber’s strongest device throughout the collection, track two, “Ex-Lover”, is a sprawling five- minute live bass and drum saga padded with cutting three-part harmony, virtuosic piano lines and no-frills, organic production about abandoning a lover for the love of touring.
The song “I’ll Let You Know” is Weber’s first published co-write. It features his longtime friend and Juno nominated Canadian singer/songwriter Terra Lightfoot singing and playing her signature vintage Gibson SG named Veronica. The song is a duet between the two songwriters, showcasing Lightfoot and Weber’s unique guitar playing styles respectively and supported by Wildman’s deep, Jim Keltner-esque drum feel. The song sounds like explosive Ry Cooder meets T-Rex.
Track four, “Burn Out”, is a re-hashing of a ten year-old song Weber originally wrote and released for Shadows in the Road. Tyler Chester’s stately piano playing and the accrued maturity since his initial performance of the song make the arc of Weber’s perspective during his career all the more apparent. The song features guest vocalist Molly Jenson (Sam Outlaw).
On track five, “Pure of Heart”, Weber narrates a sprawling ballad about a young woman struggling to stay true to her passions, feelings and relationships, “all the while, trying to be pure of heart”. The song features lush strings that pay homage to Jackson Browne’s seminal 1974 album, Late for the Sky.
Tack six, “To Fall”, speaks to the unpredictability of life and the inevitability of tragedy, “To fall is never under your command, it hits you late or comes a little soon, you’re gonna slip when life gets out of hand, like where you land it’s never up to you; why you fall”.
The final track, titled “Unrequited”, is the most vast piece production-wise of the whole collection. Featuring the best studio players Los Angeles has to offer, the song is a self-depreciating ballad about longing and unrequited love:
I haven’t written any songs since you’ve been away I only sing the hits, if only I had hits, I’d pay to bring you home With all the benefits I’d make on the back end
Sam boasts an expansive tour schedule with few days off for the remainder of 2018. The road will take him and band (Marshall Wildman, Jacob Weil, Chris Van Sickle and Peter Day) across the globe to Sweden and Norway, and back home for an extensive routing through North America. Landmark dates include a slot at the 500,000 person Supercrawl Festival in Hamilton Ontario, a Wednesday night residency at the historic Cameron House in Toronto in September, a headlining show at The Bootleg Theatre in LA and many, many more.
NEW AGILE FREEDOM
Ain’t it Always
I’ll Let You Know (feat. Terra Lightfoot)
Pure of Heart
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