Saturday, November 28, 2015

Rising Outlaw: California's Sam Outlaw Brings Classic Sound To Toronto's Dakota Tavern

There are several acts permeating the musical landscape that have embraced the more traditional sound of country music, some of whom I have written about in this space. A rising star from the California coast made his Dakota Tavern debut in a showcase hosted by his record label, Six Shooter Records.  Sam Outlaw is a pure country artist whose musical sound can range from the easy listening style of a Don Williams, to lyrically clever sounds of Gram Parsons and earlier southern California country-rock.

With a set mainly to showcase the release of his new album "Angeleno", Sam Outlaw played to a packed house on a Toronto Tuesday night a couple of weeks ago.  The intimate setting of the Dakota Tavern was the perfect backdrop for Sam Outaw's fine performance, as it provided Sam the opportunity to deliver some backstory to some of his songwriting. The song "Love Her For A While" was inspired by the aforementioned Don Williams, and listening to it, you could hear Mr. Williams wrap his unique and wonderful baritone voice around the lyrics. "Angeleno", the title track to his Six Shooter release is a song about a couple making their own way with the struggles and tribulations of life.  "Who Do You Think You Are?" is a wonderful tale about love found and lost in Mexico, with a real Mexican-style sound to it.  "Ghost Town" is one of the finest songs you will hear anywhere, it's a beautifully performed tune about cutting one's losses.  

With the increase in profile of pure, traditional country artists and the rise of Americana musicians in the mainstream consciousness, Sam Outlaw is poised to break out to the next level of notoriety.  He has the talent, skill and creativity to maintain the career path he is currently on.  As has long been said in this column, people will always come back to what is real. Evidence of this has been witnessed with the success of artists like Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson over the past couple of years, as well as the incredible rise of Chris Stapleton.  Sam Outlaw is poised to join that illustrious company with a solid record in "Angeleno", creative songwriting and a classic country sound that has been missing from the musical landscape for far too many years. 

I would be remiss if I didn't give a brief mention to Sam's record label, Six Shooter Records. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Six Shooter is home to some of the most talented artists in the world, a truly amazing roster.  They are a major player in the Americana scene on both sides of the border. The release of "Angeleno" represents their first foray in to releasing an artist on a global scale, where previously they have been focusing on the Canadian market. Their belief in Sam Outlaw is not unfounded and they have quite rightly made Sam their first artist to release an album under the Six Shooter Records label internationally. I wish them the best of luck and they too move in to the next chapter of their existence.  When you're finished checking out Sam Outlaw, check out the other amazingly talented artists on the Six Shooter roster.  

Check out "Ghost Town" from the great Sam Outlaw

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