SXSW Music Spotlight: Sam Doores

Deslondes vocalist / guitarist gets experimental on solo debut

Photo by Sarrah Danziger

With bands like Hurray for the Riff Raff and the Deslondes, Sam Doores pushed roots music in new directions. Still, his previous work pales in comparison to the experimental trajectories his solo debut takes. The eponymous LP, released in 2020 on New West Records, grounds in the eclectic folk and R&B of his New Orleans hometown, but quickly expands behind Anders Christopherson’s production and the wide-ranging international roster of musicians brought into his Berlin studio.

“I think working in Berlin with a new cast of musicians just encouraged me to be more experimental,” offers Doores. “These songs could have been arranged in any number of ways, but I felt like this was a chance for me to do something outside of what the Deslondes usually do, and Anders really encouraged me to branch out and get more experimental.

“Working in Berlin with a new cast of musicians just encouraged me to be more experimental.” – Sam Doores

“So the songs were written on an acoustic guitar, and then we’d take it to a completely different soundscape,” he continues. “I think what I liked about working with Anders is just the combination of those two things, trying to keep one foot in the roots based influences that I have, but then have the other foot completely in some wild, more surreal and psychedelic approach to the sounds and arrangements. I’ve always liked the friction.”

With the Deslondes still on hold, Doores has leaned into the opportunity to explore the new terrain. While he strips down the album’s sound live, he still maintains the adventurous approach, triangulating somewhere between Dr. John, Bob Dylan, and Tom Waits.

“It feels inspiring to do something new and keep changing,” he says. “We were all feeling a little bit stagnant towards the end [of the Deslondes], so I think it was important that we all go out and do our own thing for a while. I’m excited in a way that I was when I first went on tour.”

Sam Doores

Friday, March 18, 7:20pm, Antone's

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SXSW 2022, Sam Doores, Deslondes, Anders Christopherson

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