One of country’s fastest rising stars Sam Outlaw is coming back in the UK, performing dates including Edinburgh The Caves, Leicester – The Musicians, London’s Dingwalls and York Pocklington Arts Centre.
Sam has scored fans with critics and peers alike for his unique take on neo-traditional country music, with early supporters including Ryan Adams and Bob Harris backing his Ry Cooder produced debut album ‘Angeleno’. The release struck a chord with the UK, winning International Album Of The Year at the UK Americana awards and receiving heavy airplay from BBC Radio 2 (Bob Harris, Ricky Ross). 18 months of international touring followed, including a prominent performance at America’s biggest country festival Stagecoach and nine trips to Europe to perform at UK and European festivals including: Cambridge Folk Festival, Maverick, Tønder (DK) and Huercasa Country Festival (ES).
Sam then unleashed his self produced sophomore release Tenderheart – showing having a soft heart takes real guts and daring to tread gently comes with greater sonic reward. An unapologetically sentimental collection of songs, further showcased Sam’s Southern Californian songwriting talent. His unique sonic mix includes Baja (Mexico), 60s honky tonk, laurel canyon troubadour pop and 70s soft-rock which has drawn comparisons to artists as diverse as California country legend Dwight Yoakam, alongside Townes Van Zandt, Gram Parsons, Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles and George Jones. Sam has secured support from media from Rolling Stone to the LA Times – with critics backing his sound that’s pleasurably past, present and future tense. Sam’s songs capture modern Californian life, often retaining a sense of humor to match his cowboy poet nature.
Despite his success Sam has found himself often defending his choice of stage surname ‘Outlaw’, which was his mother’s maiden name, which he adopted in tribute to her before she sadly passed away. The name Sam Outlaw for many conjures an incongruent image of outlaw country, a country sub genre, which pits itself against the pop country sounds of mainstream country. It has been recently revived by various artists in the US many who are closely influenced by rebellious country stars of the 1960s, including Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. US music critic Kelly Dearmore admitted he initially dismissed Sam based on his name alone, continuing to ignore his music even when reading positive reviews on NPR. Finally discovering his love for Sam when he heard his music by accident on a streaming playlist. Kelly stated, “After many months of blindly dismissing an artist out of pure dumb-assery, I’ll be damned if I don’t really enjoy Outlaw’s Angeleno record, and what’s more, I couldn’t care less what his name is. I never should’ve, obviously. After all, he is a bit of a bear-poking rebel by ditching his real last name, Morgan, and choosing to roll with his mother’s maiden name of Outlaw. It’s actually a baller move to use that name without a care as to what anyone thinks about it, especially sometimes narrow-minded critics.”