“Sam Riggs wears a legacy of honest country, makes good rock, writes lyrics that matter and straps on a stage presence second to none.” -- Ray Wylie Hubbard
Receiving a hand up in this business of music from the likes of Ray Wylie Hubbard is no small accomplishment, and that mentorship – and sometimes harsh instruction – was not lost on Sam Riggs, who has had the fortunate opportunity to meander through Wylie’s cerebral countryside over the last few years. At the time of their meeting, Riggs was already a commercially-viable songwriter with an impressive root system, having sprung from his family’s musical genes; but he was still feeding off the unripe fruits of his youth. Through the songwriting school of Hubbard, he 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.
“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.”
Those rough and tumble falls steadily began upon Riggs’ relocation in 2007 from his home base in Florida to Austin, Texas, after some friends brought him a CD from the prominent Texas-based band, Reckless Kelly. Their unprocessed lyrics and raw production hit Riggs squarely between the eyes, like hammer on nail, driving him to plant his personal flag in a place where he could be his own artist. His inception was less than spectacular, as he struggled to imprint himself on the hearts of Texas Music fans while also drawing heavy influence from commercial radio. With hard stares and indifferent responses, Riggs diligently worked to strip down the polish and bring out the more natural shine – a task that resulted from the truth that, as Riggs so accurately put it, “You can’t bullshit a Texan.” The experience was both a breath of fresh air and a simultaneous smack in the face, and it ultimately cultivated the signature collection that is his debut record release, OUTRUN THE SUN.
“The only thing that matters is how you interpret this life. I wanted this to be reflection of my intent and an echo of my soul as songwriter and artist.”
Following the release of the 2012 EP, Lighthouse, OUTRUN THE SUN is a perfectly ripened delicacy that will be available for the picking on October 29, 2013, on Nashville-based Vision Entertainment. Produced by Erik Herbst (Eli Young Band, Bowling For Soup, Josh Abbott Band), the debut album of Sam Riggs & The Night People signals a lyrical comprehension that reaches far beyond Sam’s years, and musical compositions that are both brave and progressive. The driving will in “Longshot”; the matter of abuse in “The Change”; the perfect vocal accompaniment by Hubbard himself on “Angola’s Lament”; and the love-provoked courage in “Lighthouse” are just a few of the towering giants included in this release.
The record is fully backed by a live show that comes out swinging and keeps the energy high. 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.
“Your audience is like a dreamer, and the last thing you want to do is wake a dreamer. We try to draw them in with our music and keep them entranced in that dream.”