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Emerging from the bright, wide skies of Canada's west coast, Sam Weber has spent the last decade variously honing his craft as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, a road that crests a scenic new mountain with the arrival of his stunning new album, Everything Comes True (out Oct 25, 2019 on Sonic Unyon Records). Expanding on the ambitious canvas of his recent New Agile Freedom EP, Weber 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.
The album's heavyweight cast of session players included guitarist Dylan Day(Jenny Lewis), pedal steel player Rich Hinman (St. Vincent, Sara Bareilles, Rosanne Cash, Marc Cohn, Cyndi Lauper), guitarist-vocalist Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman, Ani DiFranco, Allen Toussaint), bassist Bob Glaub (John Lennon, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, 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, Kelis, Antibalas, Kamasi Washington, Ziggy Marley, TV on the Radio). The album's stellar roster of personnel also includes esteemed L.A. producer Tyler Chester, 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 in the vein of Jackson Browne, The Band, The Wood Brothers and Gillian Welch, Weber has been touring independently and internationally with his band since 2013 — the year after he scored a glowing profile in Guitar Player magazine. 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. 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 true 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.”
"The guy’s a hell of a songwriter, great musician, great guitarist… he’s going to do big things” – Afie Jurvanen, Bahamas
“[Weber] is an expert tunesmith, brimming with addictive, adventurous and confident pieces. Infused with deep wit and wisdom, Weber’s output is truly impressive. His guitar work is also killer, full of nuance, soul and a truly unique voice.… We’ll be hearing a lot more from Weber in the coming years and, more than likely, decades” – Guitar Player
“Some guys can sing. Some guys can play guitar. Some guys can write songs. Some guys know their way around the recording studio. Then there are guys like Sam Weber. [He] can do it all” – Tinnitist
Dan Edmonds doesn’t like to repeat himself, and on his new album Softie he appears in a guise that will likely surprise anyone familiar with his past work. Softie is the Hamilton, Ontario-based artist’s second solo effort following 2016’s Ladies On The Corner, and it’s evident from the sounds on the new collection that Edmonds spent a lot of the three-year interim pushing his songwriting into previously unexplored territory.
Softie can generally be described as a foray into impressionistic pop, produced by one of Canada’s masters of the genre, Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck, Alvvays), along with notable assist from The National’s Bryan Devendorf. The fact that each of Softie’s richly layered 10 tracks clock in under three minutes underscores the attention to detail that went into crafting them.
But what seems most remarkable about Softie is that, for all of the self-reflection Edmonds endured while making it, the songs demonstrate how many clear answers he arrived at. Compassion will always overcome anxiety, and love will always conquer fear. Above all, when someone has the courage to take a risk, it will inevitably pay off in some form. It is simply how people evolve.
Indeed, there aren’t many signs left of the brash young roots rocker who once fronted the band Harlan Pepper, or even the lo-fi troubadour on Ladies On The Corner. Dan Edmonds has taken a risk with Softie, but one based on hard-earned experience that remains at the core of each song.