Sam Outlaw – Angeleno: SoCal country music that’s fresh and true
“The music I play I call SoCal country,” says Sam Outlaw. “It’s country music but with a southern Californian spirit to it” – in other words, sunny and sad.
Californian country has a rich history, from the Bakersfield Sound of Buck Owens to neo-traditionalists such as Dwight Yoakam.
Both men are cited by this 33-year-old late bloomer who quit advertising to realise his ambition.
However, this is no hard sell: father and son producers Ry and Joachim Cooder craft subtle backdrops to Outlaw’s understated vocals on songs that, while steeped in the past, sound fresh and true.
With quiet assurance, he balances the heartache of Who Do You Think You Are? and the honky-tonk of I’m Not Jealous with the levity of Jesus Take the Wheel (and Drive Me to a Bar) and the mystery of Ghost Town.
One to watch.