Sam Weber is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in the vein of Jackson Browne, The Band, The Wood Brothers, and Gillian Welch — but he's also increasingly unique in his virtuoso skill set. With two LPs (2014's Shadows in the Road and 2016's Valentina Nevada) and an EP (2018's New Agile Freedom) under his belt, Weber has earned critical praise for his new album Everything Comes True, which features a superb slate of songs and a heavyweight roster of West Coast players. Today, Weber shares a new, live video for his song "Obligated" to accompany the announcement of a 10-week slate of North American tour dates.
"'Obligated' is about feeling compelled to reveal the truth to someone,” says Weber. “It’s about revealing the truth about feelings and circumstance to a romantic partner and feeling compelled to say things to them that although are true, will hurt them."
"We had a day off in Hamilton this fall so we stopped to record some songs off the floor,” says Weber. “This version of 'Obligated' was recorded at Boxcar Studios in Hamilton, Ontario with Matt Montour engineering, Danny Austin-Manning playing drums, Tejas Leier-Heyden playing bass, and Mallory Hauser playing guitar. Whatever becomes the definitive recording of a song never feels up to the songwriter. I spend so much time writing and recording these songs to release on albums, but when I play them over and over again on tour, their true centers feel like moving targets.”
That legendary pace doesn't put Weber off of touring, though. Having played back-to-back concerts for much of the last year, the coming spring has Weber and band itching to get back at it. "We're eager to get out and play live again,” Weber admits. "Our Spring tour begins on March 29 at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles and takes us across 15 states and a couple of provinces. Hope to see you on the road!"
The road has been instrumental in Weber's development in more ways than one. During 2016 touring behind Valentina Nevada, Sam and long-time drummer and collaborator Marshall Wildman caught the ear of LA producer and musician Tyler Chester. Through Chester'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. That gave shape to the artist's New Agile Freedom EP, a self-produced collection recorded on and off the road between California and home in North Saanich, BC.
Weber returned to LA and Chester's studio to record an acclaimed full-length, Everything Comes True. Expanding on the ambitious canvas New Agile Freedom, he has delivered his most compelling release to date, one stacked with remarkable songs filled out by a remarkable range of talents whose gifts complement the artist's own considerable strengths.
"This collection of songs is the most personal I've put my name on, but this project feels like my least independent,” says Weber. "In crucial moments, the people I collaborated on this saw my truth clearer than I did." He reserves special thanks for Chester, who cared for the songs as if they were his own, remaining intensely mindful of the album's finer details as well as the fullness of its scope, despite a tight session window. “Much of this record was done in a short period of time," Weber admits. “I'll spend the rest of my life trying to understand how deeply he shaped these performances without touching them."
Industry insiders know Chester not just for his diverse production credits but also his work as a steady session hand on albums and tours by Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, Andrew Bird, Amy Helm, Hayes Carll, Christina Aguilera, and many others. Those heady connections are in addition to the album's heavyweight cast of session players, a lineup that included guitarist Dylan Day (Jenny Lewis), pedal steel player Rich Hinman (St. Vincent, Rosanne Cash, Marc Cohn), guitarist-vocalist Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman, Ani DiFranco, Allen Toussaint), bassist Bob Glaub (John Lennon, Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, CSNY, John Fogerty, Leonard Cohen), percussionist Justin Stanley (Prince, Beck, Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney, Mark Ronson, Robbie Robertson, Willie Nelson), trombonist Elizabeth Lea (Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dirty Projectors, Vampire Weekend) and trumpet player Todd Simon (Solange, Antibalas, Kamasi Washington, TV on the Radio). The album's stellar roster of personnel also includes Grammy-winning mastering engineer Gavin Lurssen, and of course Weber's long-time drummer and collaborator Marshall Wildman.
A perceptive and compelling singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Weber has been touring independently and internationally with his band since 2013 — the year after he scored a glowing profile in Guitar Player magazine while still a teenager. Years spent refining songs at home in North Saanich, BC, working in studios in Los Angeles, CA and gigging relentlessly across Canada and throughout the Western U.S. (more than 500 shows to date) have honed Weber’s craft to a fine point. That journey might have reached a remarkable new place, but to hear Weber tell it, it's never really over.
“In every art form, there are secrets and tricks of the trade,” says Weber. “The ones I obsess over are about the delivery of a song. Some people figure out how to do their thing and get up and play their songs for people, get off stage and switch their brain off. Other people just keep asking questions and try to sink deeper into their thing — they keep asking why and chipping away trying to get to the core of it. I’ve had lots of mentors in my life and I’m always looking for answers from those people to these big questions.”
Sam's expansive tour schedule will blanket much of the year. His full Spring 2020 run of tour dates can be found below.
APRIL 19, 2020 TOUR UPDATE
In light of the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic we are resigned to cancelling the entirety of our tour dates this spring/summer until the future is clear. Is it ever clear? Please enjoy this Madi Cunningham song. Stay safe and enjoy the wellspring of art and creativity at your disposal in this lonely time.
MARCH 26, 2020 TOUR UPDATE
“If I had my way, I’d be in your town”
I’m very sad to formally announce cancellation of all April shows on our Spring tour. We are holding out hope for May and June dates, but we will check back in with y’all in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, please stay housebound with your loved ones and play music loud. Here’s Mal and me playing a Lucinda Williams song.
03.29 • Los Angeles, CA • Bootleg Theater [ POSTPONED ]
03.31 • Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA • The Kraken [ CANCELLED ]
04.01 • Encinitas, CA • Roxy Encinitas [ CANCELLED ]
04.02 • Julian, CA • Julian Beer Co. [ CANCELLED ]
04.03 • Prescott, AZ • Raven Café [ CANCELLED ]
04.04 • Phoenix, AZ • The Lost Leaf [ CANCELLED ]
04.05 • Tucson, AZ • Monterey Court [ CANCELLED ]
04.07 • El Paso, TX • Nature House [ CANCELLED ]
04.08 • Waco, TX • Common Grounds [ CANCELLED ]
04.09 • San Antonio, TX • Sancho’s Cantina [ CANCELLED ]
04.10 • Austin, TX • Sam’s Town Point [ CANCELLED ]
04.11 • Fort Worth, TX • Shipping & Receiving [ CANCELLED ]
04.12 • Houston, TX • Sofar Sounds [ CANCELLED ]
04.14 • New Orleans, LA • Banks Street Bar [ CANCELLED ]
04.15 • Shreveport, LA • Ki’Mexico [ CANCELLED ]
04.16 • Fort Smith, AR • R. Landry's New Orleans Café [ CANCELLED ]
04.18 • Nashville, TN • The Sutler Saloon [ CANCELLED ]
04.19 • St. Louis, MO • Evangeline’s [ CANCELLED ]
04.20 • Lawrence, KS • 8th Street Taproom [ CANCELLED ]
04.22 • Wichita, KS • The Donut Whole [ CANCELLED ]
04.23 • Oklahoma City, OK • ACM@UCO [ CANCELLED ]
04.24 • Tulsa, OK • The Colony [ CANCELLED ]
04.25 • Stillwater, OK • Zannotti’s Wine Bar [ CANCELLED ]
04.26 • Amarillo, TX • The 806 [ CANCELLED ]
04.28 • Santa Fe, NM • Cowgirl BBQ [ CANCELLED ]
04.30 • Manitou Springs, CO • Lulu's Downstairs [ CANCELLED ]
05.01 • Denver, CO • Broadway Roxy [ CANCELLED ]
05.02 • Carbondale, CO • Steve’s Guitars [ CANCELLED ]
05.04 • Salt Lake City, UT • Hotel RL [ CANCELLED ]
05.07 • Helena, MT • Lewis & Clark Brewing Co. [ CANCELLED ]
05.08 • Twin Butte, AB • Twin Butte General Store [ CANCELLED ]
05.09 • Lethbridge, AB • The Owl * [ CANCELLED ]
05.10 • Red Deer, AB • Bo’s Bar & Grill [ CANCELLED ]
05.11 • Edmonton, AB • The Almanac [ CANCELLED ]
05.12 • Jasper, AB • Jasper Legion [ CANCELLED ]
05.13 • Calgary, AB • Ironwood Stage [ CANCELLED ]
05.14 • Golden, BC • Bacchus Books [ CANCELLED ]
05.15 • Kelowna, BC • The Outback ** [ CANCELLED ]
05.16 • Langley, BC • Bez Arts Hub ** [ CANCELLED ]
05.17 • Chilliwack, BC • Tractorgrease Café ** [ CANCELLED ]
05.18 • Vancouver, BC • The Heatley ** [ CANCELLED ]
05.19 • Bellingham, WA • Firefly Lounge ** [ CANCELLED ]
05.20 • Seattle, WA • Conor Byrne Pub ** [ CANCELLED ]
05.21 • Yakima, WA • Single Hill Brewing Co. ** [ CANCELLED ]
05.22 • Winthrop, WA • Old Schoolhouse Brewery [ CANCELLED ]
05.23 • Portland, OR • Bunk Bar ** [ CANCELLED ]
05.24 • Enterprise, WA • Terminal Gravity [ CANCELLED ]
05.25 • Sisters, OR • Open Door Wine Bar [ CANCELLED ]
05.27 • Coos Bay, OR • 7 Devils Brewing Co. [ CANCELLED ]
05.28 • Cresent City, CA • Port O'Pints Brewing Co. [ CANCELLED ]
05.30 • Ashland, OR • Brickroom [ CANCELLED ]
05.31 • San Francisco, CA • Tread Softly Session [ CANCELLED ]
06.07 • Los Angeles, CA • Yellow House Session [ CANCELLED ]
* with The Ashley Hundred ** with Bart Budwig