“We got tremendous support on the last album from fans and media. This incredible buzz started getting ramped up and show attendance started to sky rocket. People really latched on to it.” Everybody loves a good “rags-to-riches” story. Nothing seems to inspire the masses quite as well as the story about the underdog with the larger-than-life dream that finds the path of opportunity and emerges triumphant against the odds. Sam Riggs has just such a story, and in his version, it was his move from his native Florida to Austin, Texas that was the dream. It was his innate ability for songwriting and his passion for performance that provided the opportunity. And it was his first album “Outrun The Sun” that brought Sam up directly into high music society with stellar national reviews, hit singles, hit music videos, national television music placement, elite invitations to perform at renown events, sold out crowds, 2.2 million total streams on Spotify, 600,000 plus views on YouTube, over 30,000 followers on his social media pages, and, most recently, a spotlight feature in Rolling Stone Country. An impressive story? Most definitely, yet Sam Riggs has only just begun.
In the life of a working musician, everything hinges on the connection made with fans, and Sam’s ability to draw his listeners completely into his world comes as naturally to him as breathing. He describes that synergy with his faithfuls as “rabid,” and their die-hard support is a fire and gasoline concoction that fuels his songwriting. He has accomplished this bond with his fans because, in a nut shell, Sam writes the stories of the people. In just a little over a year’s time he has watched his attendance numbers swell like gale force winds.
He has seen his crowds go from 50 people to thousands, and has stood amazed to see fans singing every word to brand new songs that haven’t even been released. Now, it’s one thing to see your audience grow exponentially around your own stomping grounds, but it is quite another thing to walk out on stage in a faraway land where you have never played before and see a sold out crowd. Music travels fast, and Sam’s steady pursuit on the heels of his own widely proceeding reputation is a marathon that he admits leaves him breathless. And so, the story continues with the release of his brand new album “Breathless” on February 19, 2016.
Produced by Sam Riggs and Erik Herbst, “Breathless” is a sincere, unfiltered look into the person Sam has become. The album’s first single “The Lucky Ones” represents the first leg of his journey, a story told through 20/20 hindsight about the fortunes of struggle with a cameo performance from the University of North Texas Drum Line. “Gravity” is a true anchor on the album depicting that specific period in life between when you have to get out, and when you actually can. Well throughout the album you get a real sense of Sam’s more vulnerable side, and the way he writes about a man’s response to a women’s spell is the stuff of bestselling novels. Considering lyrics like “Just one kiss from your novocaine lips and you take all my pain away” (“Breathless”), “One more kiss is all I need to get through. I guess you’re just a habit I can’t break” (“Second Hand Smoke”), and “The fire in your touch, it’s like a needle in my veins” (“One More Chance To Stay”), you see a man who has warred with the dangerous addictions of love, but also one that has not been afraid to wave the white flag of surrender. All this is not to say that the album is without muscle. “Wake The Dead” feels like pure adrenaline, a heart racing ride in honky tonk rap style. And finally, “High On A Country Song” is the Sam Riggs live show experience coming through the speakers, where the energy is so thick you can cut it with a knife.
In total, “Breathless” is the sound you hear clearly above the racket of mediocrity, and it signals that a new age of “artist” has arrived.