SAY HELLO TO SUITCASE SAM AND GOODNIGHT RIVERDALE PARK
Even with the release of his new album Goodnight Riverdale Park, Suitcase Sam still has no fixed address.
Rumoured to be hailing from “the wilds of Canada,” Suitcase Sam has emerged from the sands of time to give us an album that’s quite an artistic leap forward from his recent Get It To Go.
Led by such soulful outlaw rockers as “Growing Up” and the honky-tonk anthem “Edge of Town,” the Suitcase Sam sonics of Goodnight Riverdale Park are expanded – having been recorded by a rotating cast of revellers – and modernized accordingly.
“It’s a much bigger sound than the last one, which was designed with the minimal in mind and made over a few hours with a couple of musicians,” Sam admits. “This one was made over many months and had a lot more musicians involved with it. It’s a much bigger production with more songs. It was bigger all around.”
Co-produced by Juno Award winning analog specialist Walter Sobczak (Sarah Harmer, Barenaked Ladies, Art of Time) at Toronto’s Revolution Recording studios, Goodnight Riverdale Park builds on the throwback sounds of Get It To Go and updates them…to a point.
“The record builds on 20’s jazz and 30’s country, both of which are big influences,” note Sam. “ There’s also a bit of The Band, some Willie Nelson-inspired outlaw country. Goodnight Riverdale Park is sort of the full technicolour version of Get It To Go.”
With Hank Williams and Leon Redbone inflections intact, Suitcase Sam says the 10 originals on the new album that range from the clarinet-driven rag of “Maple Leaf Stomp” to the Southern blues rock feel of the tequila-tinged “Frankie And Me” to the wayfaring hobo drawl of “The Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad” all loosely share the topic of escapism.
“They’re all about being in a state of perpetual motion,” says Sam, who has opened for the likes of Benjamin Booker, Courtney Barnett, Elliot Brood and will be bringing his music to life on a stage near you in the near future.
“Getting on a bus or a train and getting away from toxic people. Every song is about being on the road one way or the other. Sometimes you want to be out there and you’re excited about it, and on other times you’re forced to do it and you’d rather not, but you’re always ready to move.
“Specifically, ‘Edge of Town’ is about being up to no good, getting on people’s nerves, feeling you’re in the way and trying to move on before people get sick of you.”
And the sentiment is all the more realized and authentic with the fact that co-producer and engineer Walter Sobczak stayed away from computers when capturing the overall Suitcase Sam sound.
“I think the fact that we recorded it to two- inch tape really sets the album apart,” notes Sam. “My music is more immediate and intimate – it doesn’t require a Led Zeppelin drum sound. And we were able to work quickly and capture lightning: if a song sounded good, Walter gave me the thumbs-up and we moved on.”
When you listen to Goodnight Riverdale Park, available on Curve Music, you too will ultimately give it the thumbs-up. Aggressive and blues-driven with a tad more fire & diesel than its predecessor, Goodnight Riverdale Park will further the mystique of this enigmatic entertainer as he turns the road into his home.
Much like the Outlaw philosophy he embraces, this album will indeed establish Suitcase Sam as someone to be reckoned with: a wanted man.
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