Last night was a perfect night for some good and melodious music performed by songwriter de luxe Sam Outlaw and his band. And before him, Michaela Anne, who also plays in his band, plus the Norwegian band Lucky Lips gave us each a taste of their music.
Sam Outlaw is a relatively new artist, but has been recognized for his excellent songwriting and his non-nonsense singing from his first release. His music career started late, and he released his self titled debut EP in 2014 when he was 32 years old. In 2015 his album Angeleno, produced by Ry Cooder, was released to critical acclaim, and in April this year he released Tenderheart.
Sam Outlaws describes his music as SoCal country, inspired by George Jones, Emmylou Harris and Asleep At The Wheel. Personally I also hear a lot of Gram Parson in his singing, maybe what he would have sounded like if they had lived today. I heard Sam Outlaw the first time at SXSW in 2016, and liked his set. Last night he had a full band and I could hear that he has been playing a lot since March last year.
We got songs from both his albums, and he also did two songs solo without the band. I specially noted the bitter-sweet She Plays Hard to Get (Rid Off) from Tenderheart, I’m Not Jealous and the title-track from Angeleno. He played with a six piece band, with Molly Parden on guitar and Michaela Anne on keys, plus steel guitar, guitar, bass and drums. They played just as good as you can expect and was the perfect accompaniment to Sam Outlaws songs.
The night started with Michaela Anne, who sang a few of her songs solo. I have never heard her before, but I did like what I heard. She is a good songwriter and has a clear voice. So far she has released three albums, the latest, Bright Lights and the Flame in 2016.
After Michaela Anne we got Lucky Lips from Oslo, Norway. They started out as more of a bluegrass band, but have transformed into a more rock oriented Americana band with electric guitar and drums, but still keeping the banjo. They started out with Wrong Side of the Lie from their latest album, Coming Home, and continued with songs from the same album. My favorite is the title track, Coming Home.
I have seen Lucky Lips quite a few times and I do like their music, both recorded and live. They have become very professional on stage, and singer Malin Pettersen is one of Norway’s most interesting singers in the more organic styles, and the band is tight and with some solid playing from all the musicians.
Erlend Style Høyland and Even Krogh from Lucky Lips
The concert last night was the last on the first art of Sam Outlaw’s European tour, and they continue in the Netherland, Denmark and UK before going back to the US.
Stian Sveen from Lucky Lips
All photos are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.