john butler, Ben Harper, Rod Reiguez
Sam West - songwriter, singer, acoustic guitar Marty Smith - Drums Robert Mackay - Bass
jack johnson, bb king, john butler, Kenny Wayne Shepard
He may have sand between his toes and a healthy beach tan at his back, but Queensland’s Sam West has his head well and truly in the game. The down-to-earth roots talent and homegrown Hervey Bay lad is the perfect blend of laid-back and hard-working. Which is just as well, with Sam’s phenomenal second studio album Circles due to land on the 9th of January.
Gigging tirelessly beneath the endless blue and brilliant stars of the Queensland sky, Sam has earned a special place in the local roots scene – and beyond. He’s appeared on Australia’s Got Talent, scooped two silver medals for Australia at the 2011 World Championships of Performing Arts in LA, and picked up an endorsement from Cole Clark Guitars along the way. Sam’s achievements to date have taken him as far afield as Australia’s red centre, Nashville, and Chicago. That said, Sam West is living proof that you can take the boy out of Queensland but you can’t take Queensland out of the boy: the singer was forced to postpone a string of gigs early last year due to a surfing injury. But it’ll take more than a Mini Mal to the throat to keep Sam West down!
With influences including John Butler, Jack Johnson, and Ben Harper, you can count on Sam West to woo fans in any setting: from the smallest pub band-room to a heaving open-air festival jam.
Picking up his first guitar at the age of twelve, Sam developed a real taste for the instrument after hearing his dad strumming out some of his favourite tunes. He’s never looked back.
Like all good storytellers, Sam has always craved a nomadic lifestyle and the open road. For the past five years, Sam–now pushing 27–has hauled his guitar and big-hearted Mastiff-cross Bruce from gig to gig, journeying from the Sunshine Coast to Perth, Brisbane to Darwin, Rockhampton to Broome. All in all, Sam has covered more than 100,000 kilometres of Aussie roads in the pursuit of his richly textured sound – often living out of a Hilux and camper trailer for months at a stretch. He’s regularly found himself surviving on little more than two meals of rice, potatoes and onions a day (it was a real treat, Sam recalls, to score a few more varied ingredients from the occasional Woolworths skip!) Sam’s music reflects the lessons he’s learned and the trials he’s overcome along the way.
“Love, loss, family, pets, happiness, freedom, relationships, births, deaths, and heartbreak: they’ve all helped shape me into the person I am today,” Sam explains. “My songs come from the heart and I need to live my life 100% – so that I have things to write about!”
Sam West has always channeled the tropical warmth, hissing waves and laid back rhythms of his Queensland home. With forthcoming second album Circles, he expands on the freewheeling sounds of debut record It’s Alright. The new album perfectly showcases Sam’s trademark percussive, funk-inflected guitar style and honest, earthy vocal. It’s a radically real sound that rings true at every step: a quality that is assured by Sam’s bare-finger playing technique. A rock-solid studio lineup with obvious party pedigree doesn’t hurt, either.
From the anthemic call to arms of ‘Rise Up’, to a love song served with a sly wink on the side in lead single ‘Happy Birthday Kris’ – ‘I hear you’re one year older, another chapter in life’s great folder, I hope the new year brings you a nice young man who smiles when he sings’ – Sam West brings his special brand of careworn charm to the table with Circles.
The album was produced and recorded at the industry-leading Pacific International Studios with Aussie music stalwart Robert Mackay at the helm.
“In a world of often manufactured and disposable music, it is extremely refreshing to work with an artist that I call ‘the real deal’,” Mackay says of Sam’s unique sound. “Sam West is a gifted young bloke with an organic and original style that is refreshingly unlike others. His guitar style is complex yet simple, his songs very well written and delivered honestly. I believe Sam's music to be almost genre-less, yet appealing to most genres. I have been a Sam West fan since he walked into my studio some four years ago.”
Sam has dozens of shows slated for April through May, during which he will preview the tracks that make up Circles. The album itself is out January 9, with a national tour to follow from the months of January to May. So if you can’t make it to the beach in the coming months, you can count on Sam West to bring the beach to you – along with a bucketful of soul and a couple of spades full of funk for good measure.
19 Oct 2011