The first time I saw Sam Outlaw was a hot Wednesday night in Costa Mesa at an Americana pop up showcase called The Kings Inn. Those were really good days. Some people might remember the first time they saw the grand canyon or the woman they were going to marry – I will remember that night. This handsome cowboy stood up there crooning some of the best country I’ve ever heard. He looked slightly out of place, with that cowboy hat, those jeans, and this grin on his face that told me the room could be completely empty and he’d still be having the time of his life up there. He plays with a full band, including this angel, Molly Jay, who backs him on vocals and guitar.
The combination of what he’d cooked up was so obviously a hit to me that I remember standing there slack jawed studying them with a sense of wonder I’ve rarely felt paralleled in my lifetime. I was instantly a fan. This man has earned a place on my playlist for the rest of my days, and I hope yours as well. And now, his debut album, Angeleno, is out…right now on Six Shooter Records.
I am not surprised, but I am thrilled, to see the attention Sam Outlaw is getting with his debut of Angeleno. Recorded with legendary producer Ry Cooder and his son Joachim Cooder in Nashville, it truly embraces Southern California’s influence on his music, and the result is really something else. He has been touring the world opening up for Sheryl Crow, Justin Townes Earle, and Dwight Yoakam leading up to this release, and is currently gearing up for a west coast tour of his own. Outlaw has been credited by Rolling Stone for redefining California country, and has been measured up to the likes of Yoakam himself who notoriously owned the LA country scene since the 80’s.
Angeleno is guaranteed to grace your playlist long after this summer has ended. It’s a forever kind of record, and a play straight through kind of joy. No song lags or lacks as he continually delivers in equal measures of heart, grace, and hilarity with songs like, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink and Fall In Love. I’ve said it since the moment I saw him, this mans the real deal. And yes, his real name is Outlaw!