“One of the freshest voices I’ve heard in over a decade, Sammy restores my faith that there is still much innovating and interesting music to be made, and that rock music is alive and well.”
-Dr. Daniel Levitin
(Author of the New York Times Bestseller "This Is Your Brain On Music" & Musician who has worked with Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Jonathan Richman & others)
“Sammy’s voice is one I wish I had, his songs are ones I wish I had written … If I owned a record label I’d sign him, if I had a radio station I’d play him, if I owned a paper I’d write about him.”
5 time Western Canadian Music award winner, 3 Juno award nominations
“Weather Report” caresses the ear like a dual homage to Roy Orbison and the great Brill Building songwriters, while capturing Sammy’s almost cinematic approach to making music. Sammy says of “Weather Report”:
“I was writing the storyline to a film about an emotionally stifled teen growing up in the rural area of so-called Edmonton in the 1960s. He begins to find himself when he drives into town each weekend to hear a band play their regular gig and he becomes infatuated with the drummer. However, he doesn’t know if he can express this feeling, and as a way of getting closer to the drummer, he writes a song for the band to record. He gives them a demo and of course the song is a kind of angst-ridden love letter.
Contextualizing the song in this way was my way of rewriting history. Unfortunately, there are no ‘60s music videos about a young man who has a crush on another
guy. But that doesn’t mean the melody and musical structure cannot be re-purposed. This song drew heavily from Frankie Valli's ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.’”
Recorded at Riverdale Recorders with Harry Gregg producing and on bass, Scott Franchuk mixing and engineering, and Philip Shaw Bova mastering. Dana Wylie provides backup vocals, Brendan Lyons on drums and percussion, Brennan Cameron on keys, Chris Tabbert on guitar, Dave Babcock on sax. Daniela Roth was the photographer and Travis Salty made the cover art.
ALBUM COMING SOON
'Be Alright!' will be released with support from Jason Schneider Media. Starting in July, three single releases will lead to the full album release by December 2022. The album will let you experience what it may have sounded like had Townes Van Zandt & Solomon Burke collaborated as a songwriting team and then had Dion DiMucci or Roy Orbison sing the song. Sammy believes music should be rich atmospherically and that you shouldn’t sing it unless you feel it. Recorded safely during the pandemic at Edmonton's Riverdale Recorders, the album consists entirely of original songs. It was engineered by Scott Franchuk, produced by Harry Gregg, and mastered by the Grammy-Nominated Philip Shaw Bova.
Cover by: Morgan Melenka
SAM WOLFE SINGS!
“It's not often, but every once in a while, someone I've never heard of walks in and blows my socks off. I felt a little like Sam Phillips last night."
- Scott Franchuk
While performing under the moniker "Sam Wolfe", Sammy recorded his first EP in the Summer of 2018 with his friend Jeremy Witten on bass and the brilliant Scott Franchuk engineering. The classic, haunting sounds were captured at "The Audio Department", one of Edmonton's classic recording spaces.
On the evening of September 17th, "Riding the Waves" premiered at Festival Place. This documentary features 11 artists who relate their pandemic experiences and share their music. Sammy is featured about 10 minutes into the film (following the wonderful D'orjay The Singing Shaman).
“Gorgeous, heartfelt, soulful singing with such a lovely natural technique. Just absolutely stunning. Listen to Sammy, follow him on Spotify and be transported. So beautiful.”
- Amy Van Keeken (CKUA Radio)
“As a veteran of this industry, I know that it is practically unheard of for an artist to burst out of the gate presenting the highest levels of artistic assuredness and eclecticism - but with “Be Alright!”, Sammy has done just that.”
- Chris Wynters (VP Artist Management - Six Shooter Records)
“Heads up, here's one to watch! Beautiful, absolutely beautiful!”
- Rhea March (CJSR Radio)
Photo: Daniela Roth
Canadian-American artist Sammy Volkov is pretty weird. Rather than socializing, he spent most of his formative years collecting records and inventing secret songs in his mind. If he likes what he hears in a performance, he has the audacity to picture himself as a contemporary to this artist. It doesn’t matter how old the recording is - Sammy might borrow a couple quirks from Sinatra, a little flourish from M. Ward or Neil Young, a riff from the Shirelles, and before you know it you’re presented with quite an esoteric palette of sonic colours.
He graduated from SUNY Purchase’s Acting BFA Conservatory where he performed & trained under the direction of Tony-Award winning Trazana Beverley and many other leaders in the theatre, film & music industries. Sammy has lived in NYC, LA, Edmonton and Toronto. He was lucky enough to be chosen by Matt Masters as a featured performer for an Americana Music Festival in Calgary, a featured artist at Edmonton’s ‘Big Dreamer Jam’, and he has opened for artists like Dana Wylie, Doug Hoyer, Cayley Thomas, Amy Van Keeken, Baby Jey and more. His music has been featured on the CKUA and CJSR radio stations. Sammy has contributed vocals to upcoming albums from Emmet Michael & Jonathan Kawchuk.
Sammy was honoured to have been selected by the Canadian Musicians Cooperative as an Emerging Artist & Program Coordinator for Summer 2021. Since wrapping up the recording sessions for his upcoming album "Be Alright!", Sammy was featured as a performer in the documentary film "Riding the Waves" which premiered at Festival Place. He performed to a sold-out crowd for Festival Place's patio series on a split bill with Ayla Brook & the Sound Men. The Heart Of The City music festival booked Sammy as a featured artist as part of its Youth Stage line up in June. He was also booked to play in the heart of downtown Edmonton for the ICE Jam Concert Series and most recently headlined at The Station on Jasper and Found Festival. In September he performed at the Tiny Lights Festival in Ymir, BC and opened for Spencer Burton at The Aviary in Edmonton. He is most excited to open for Mariel Buckley twice in the fall!
Sammy's debut full-length album "Be Alright!" will be released in December. With support from the Edmonton Arts Council, Sammy is currently in the studio recording a duets album of original material with the brilliant Dana Wylie.