West coast-based singer Sam Weber certainly has a way with crafting richly descriptive tunes – the gifted artist performs June 1st at Bo’s.
Hailing from North Saanich, B.C., the 22-year-old singer-songwriter and guitarist has caught the imagination of listeners and media across the world.
His masterful debut full-length CD, Shadows in the Road, is the culmination of years already spent focused on touring and recording. Shadows in the Road, which was released in the fall of 2014, has been described as an album of ‘intense contrasts, emotional entanglement, and mercurial, enthralling arrangements.’
Opening with the powerful, dream-like title track, things pick up steam with the engaging, infectious Right Hearted. Weber’s style shines through again in tunes like Something to Say and the gentle, ethereal tones of August. Weber has a knack for digging deep and writing songs that really touch the listener; there’s a storytelling richness that surfaces throughout. Matched with compelling musical foundations, there’s hardly a misstep to be found. The disc closes with a tune called Peace – again, a testament to Weber’s maturity – already – as an artist.
Weber credits his folks and family in general with offering a great place to grow in his musical giftings. “I have a really strong foundation,” he notes of his parents and brother, during a break from traveling through Thunder Bay.
He started off with the proverbial piano lessons, and even though he had an exceptional teacher, that didn’t last overly long. “I didn’t gravitate to the formal, technical approach to it.”
What he did find appealing were rock tunes on the radio featuring intense guitar solos – so when he picked up a guitar around the age of 12, essentially, a creative path was found. “I just started playing with friends and at school.
“I’d hear these epic guitar solos, and that’s what really hooked me. I realized also that what was engaging me was that those were brilliantly written songs – it was like a catharsis – listening to a great song. So playing the guitar was like a gateway into all of that, too.”
A penchant for songwriting started to surface around that time as well. And really, he’s never looked back. Playing with a number of local bands would follow over those formative years, and his gift for songwriting continued to mature as well.
From that point, he basically knew that working as a musician would pretty much be the life for him, adding he also knew it likely wouldn’t be the easiest path to take. “I did want, in some capacity, to just write my own songs and play them. So I always tried to do things that would align with that.”
In 2012, at age 19, Weber was one of the youngest people to ever be covered in a major Guitar Player magazine feature. The prestigious Berklee College of Music also saw his potential, awarding him a summer scholarship when he was just 17.
The school went on to award him a scholarship that would have covered some of his educational expenses, but Weber’s artistic instincts proved too restless and he returned home to Canada to pursue his songcraft. “I wanted to allocate my resources and my attention to just doing my own thing,” he said, admitting it would have been a great opportunity at Berklee just the same.
But he has no regrets – Weber headed home to the west coast and picked up where he left off – performing, writing and planning for a full-length CD. Shadows in the Road is the result of stretches of creative explorations; quite a bit of time went into the formation of the disc, which lends itself to the layered, rich and imaginative sounds that resonate from song to song. “I wanted to write songs that I would like – at the time I really liked ‘big’ songs with big production – those are the kinds of things I was working towards with my writing.
“It was hope that it would be music that I would want to listen to.”
Meanwhile, Weber’s journey is just beginning, and it’s off to a truly inspiring start. He’s relishing the chance to cross the country now, playing for audiences from coast to coast. It’s been a special tour also in that he’s been able to perform plenty of new material that will ultimately find its way onto his next CD. He hopes to begin recording that one later this year with a potential release set for next spring.
“The only thing that is really fulfilling is writing songs and playing songs, and being expressive that way. It’s oddly therapeutic in a way, too.”