Sam Outlaw Keeps It Country on “Kind to Me”
Sam Outlaw

Sam Outlaw

Over the last few years, Sam Outlaw has staked a claim in the Los Angeles country scene. Now he’s about to go nationwide with Angeleno, a Ry Cooder-produced album arriving in 2015.

Outlaw — who swiped his mother’s maiden name for his own stage moniker – released an EP in April 2014 that featured the traditional-leaning song “Kind to Me.” With a full country band in tow, he recorded this barroom-ready version in the CMT studio during his first-ever appearance at the Americana Music Festival in September.

“What would make a young lady not want to be so polite?” Outlaw asks. “Maybe that situation where you’re at a bar or something, and you think you’re being this kind of charming, classy, cool guy. But if you remember correctly, maybe you are actually a little drunk. That classic moment of, attraction happens and you approach the young lady. And she’s not terribly interested. If you’re honest with yourself, it’s because maybe you weren’t the coolest.

“But I guess the guy does have a second shot,” he adds. “At the end, he says, ‘If I come back next time, I’m going to give it one more try.’ In other words, there’s hope.”

Outlaw’s first LP, from 2013, was titled Nobody Loves. That sentiment has since changed as the special guests on Angeleno include Bo Koster of My Morning Jacket, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and Gabe Wincher of Punch Brothers.

A smart songwriter with an affinity for the feel of 1990s country, this Outlaw makes music that’s a lot more inviting than his name suggests. Although it didn’t make the cut for Angeleno, here’s “Kind to Me” to give you a hint of what’s to come.