Sam Filiatreau began writing songs almost as soon as he learned to play guitar, Filiatreau found his calling in the storytelling songs of ‘70s country, along with John Prine and Randy Newman. “They were writing these stories that nobody else would, and I really like that kind of style,” he says. “Just being able to pull a song out of anything. Whether it be an inanimate object or simple conversations, I think that’s super cool.” Deciding to pursue music full-time at 16, Filiatreau quit high school, moved out of the family home, and joined a rock band. However, most of his free time was dedicated to traveling to area festivals, absorbing what he calls “sad mountain music,” and honing his own songwriting and singing.
The genesis of Kentuckian Sam Filiatreau’s new self titled album is one of chance and good fortune. A last-minute house show gig that just so happened to be in front of the right guys—Taylor Meier and Matt Vinson, who were on their way to AAA stardom with their band Caamp—led to a quick friendship and mutual respect which eventually landed Filiatreau the first spot on Meier’s new record label, Gjenny Records. All that to say, none of it would’ve happened if it weren’t for the sheer magnitude of Filiatreau’s songs and the way he sings them; a catchy blend of the lyricism of ‘70s vinyl with the acoustic feel of Appalachian folk music.
American Songwriter premiered “Wrecking Ball,” an effortless indie-two-step which, in Sam’s words, “is a nod to the old time music I’ve always been so drawn to.” But, like the rest of Filiatreau’s tunes, there’s a clever, quirky depth that might be missed on the first listen. American Songwriter notes, “Without saying too much, the artist’s stripped-back styling elicits a certain unifying nostalgia—even the empty spaces still brim with emotion.”
Sam definitely feels like a proud father with the release of this album and highlights are tracks such as ‘Wrecking Ball, and ‘Fine By Me’.’Fine By Me’ was written four years ago and was influenced in no small part by John Prine. To me it’s a fabulous love song as to where everybody sees their relationship going as they grow older together the song was written for Sam’s girlfriend at the time but will now remain a testament to love in general as their relationship in real life ended. Two years ago the album was done it’s been a labour of love trying to get the album out and was nurtured by Gjenny Records.
The pandemic has hit Sam’s plan of touring and promoting the album in a hard way and he’s only been able to do a couple of small shows to show off all his hard work in producing such seminal musical odes to the human condition.
Hopefully in the fall, probably around September and October Sam will be out on the road singing to live audiences again. For now enjoying the this behind-the-scenes look at how the album came about and listen to the album itself so you can hear the magic of Sam Filiatreau.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Sam Filiatreau. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts