Long before Austin-based newcomer Sam Riggs released his acclaimed new studio album OUTRUN THE SUN (Vision Entertainment) on October 29th, the seemingly out-of-nowhere buzz about this poignant young artist hung heavy in the air of the independent music climate. A stretch of time spent under the tutelage of the great Texas Music icon Ray Wylie Hubbard early on played a big role in Riggs’ direction as a songwriter, and through that mentorship Riggs learned the time-honored virtue of patience and the aptitude for turning the rough and tumble falls to the ground into a steady, recovered gait. Riggs recalls with humble gratitude, “He opened my eyes to songwriting, and I could see the idiot I had been and the idiot I was going to be, and he helped me to navigate that. He taught me what it really is to be a songwriter.” The mutual respect between the two artists is evident in a statement issued by Hubbard himself. “Sam Riggs wears a legacy of honest country, makes good rock, writes lyrics that matter and straps on a stage presence second to none.”
Turns out the buzz surrounding Riggs was spot on. Months before the official release of OUTRUN THE SUN, Sam Riggs and his band the Night People exploded into the country music spotlight with a #1 hit music video on CMT’s Pure 12 Pack Countdown with “When The Lights Go Out.” The video is the kind of monster debut that launches significant careers and, in fact, secured the #2 spot on the “Top 5 videos of 2013” poll. The record has had some amazing success right off the bat, the most recent being a music spot with his song “Collide” that aired on ABC’s critically acclaimed drama “Nashville” in January. Glowing reviews are piled high from premier outlets including Country Weekly Magazine, Billboard’s The 615 Blog, Texas Music Magazine, Engine145 and The Boot, and his current single “Angola’s Lament” is currently #13 on the Texas Music Chart. Bearing witness to his aptitude as a stage performer, Day Trotter, one of the biggest sources for emerging artists, invited Riggs up to their studios in Illinois to record his official session back in December where Riggs joined a coveted list of rising stars that include The Civil Wars, The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers, Fleet Foxes Mumford & Sons and the Alabama Shakes to name only a few. Sam Riggs and The Night People will bring the buzz back home with a special after party performance following the Turnpike Troubadours at Stubbs BBQ on Friday, April 4th. Showtime is 10:30 PM. Tickets are $5 or free if you bring your Turnpike Troubadour ticket stubs. Having opened for acts that include Chris Knight; Joe Diffie; Kevin Fowler; Pat Green; the Eli Young Band; the Randy Rogers Band; and, of course, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sam Riggs & The Night People have become well-educated in the art of working a crowd. Riggs himself never fails to dazzle with his “musical chair” performances that never restrict him to one location on the stage. Vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, banjo, fiddle, and even drums are all part of the magic that he hypnotically spins on a nightly basis. Check out www.samriggsandthenightpeople.com for big upcoming shows this summer.
Writer: Brandy Reed