Toronto based musician Samantha Martin is enjoying successful summer full of excellent shows across Canada. She and guitarist Mikey McCallum aka Samantha Martin and the Haggard come to the Slice, Aug. 23.
“ It’s been a great little tour,” said the Edmonton born Martin from a tour stop in Winnipeg.
“We’ve played a lot of festivals and they have been fantastic,” she said.
“ We just played the Trout Forest Music Festival (in Ear Falls, in Northern Ontario). It is a smaller festival, and it was very relaxing so were were able to be very relaxed before we went on stage,” she continued.
“And the Dream Cafe in Penticton was exceptional. They've all been great for a hundred different reasons.”
She noted the band sounds like a blend of traditional country music, folk and the darker side of gospel music.
“ We sound like a mix of The Staples Singers and The Black Keys. We play a little bit of everything from classic county to the blues and even a little gospel,” she said. While she sometimes travels with a larger group including three back-up singers, she will only be bringing Mikey McCallum for their Lethbridge show.
“ I’ve been working with him in various capacities for the last six years,” she said.
She is excited to visit Lethbridge for the first time.
“ I’ve been trying to get into the Slice for years but it has always been booked. But Romi Mayes booked this particular tour and she got us in,” she continued.
She has released three albums including a in 2008 called “ Back Home,” another album with the eight piece band the Haggard in 2012 and a new EP called “ Dark Angel” which she released earlier this year.
“ So I’ll be playing songs from all three albums and some songs I just wrote,” she said.
She noted she was attracted to gospel music because of the harmonies.
“ I’m not an overly religious person. But I always liked gospel with three part vocal harmonies and maybe a guitar and lots of foot stomping and hand clapping,” she said.
“ So it's not gospel like ‘Jesus save me,’ but more why do bad things happen and why does the good Lord and Jesus let them,” she continued.
“It's kind of dark. It makes your hair stand up on the back of your neck. it's just beautiful,” she said.