April 5, 2001

Test Spins: Sam Shaber

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On this collection of live performances recorded at several NYC clubs, Sam Shaber has crafted a lovely album of modern folk. With a sound that is at turns willowy and angstful, Perfect flows well without sinking into same-y-ness.

On ballads like the title track, Sam coos “I can be sexy/ when I breathe in your ear” over a warm bed of acoustic guitar plucking. “Rooftop” is a jangly, upbeat track, presenting a cozy view of two lovers.

With only an acoustic guitar and her versatile voice — which can be either whisper-quiet or bellowingly loud — Sam tells short, simple stories about her hometown of NYC.

The music, though it stays close to the folk model, also contains touches of pop, blues, and R&B. This variety, coupled with Sam’s playful guitar licks and emotive voice, make this a fun listen. Look for Sam when she comes to WSH on April 24 as the first artist in the Emerging Artists series.

Archived article by Ed Howard