28 May 2021 (released)
28 May 2021
Suitcase Sam has the kind of voice that leads you to expect a Yodel at any moment – call it Hank Williams crossed with Leon Redbone – and this album runs the gamut of Americana from honky-tonk to Blues and touching down at all points country, not to mention ragtime and vaudeville.
And somehow it is a real joy to listen to from start to finish.
He originates from Toronto in Canada and records either as a solo musician or in a full band arrangement and this album was recorded in Toronto’s Revolution studios with Walter Sobczak on production duties and full range analog recording on tape. “I think the fact that we recorded it to 21/2” tape really sets the album apart,” says Sam, “My music is more immediate and intimate – it doesn’t require a Led Zeppelin drum sound. And we were able to work quickly and capture lightning: if a song sounded good, Walter gave the thumbs up and we moved on”.
The end result is a work of joyous intensity. The analog process allows for a very close and uncomplicated feel to the music and the constantly rotating group of musicians allows every song to take on an individual character.
Personal favourites abound from the ragtime ‘Maple Leaf Stomp’ or ‘The Grand Trunk Pacific Coast Railroad’ with its gorgeous fiddle playing and heavy bass line or ‘Frankie And Me’ which could be a number from the Band.
Suitcase Sam is unique and, in these days of computerised blandness, a refreshingly original voice.