Sam Bergquist: Wiser Then
(Independent / 3 February 2023)
Boston based singer-songwriter Sam Bergquist's EP Wiser Then is focused on relationships.
“When it comes down to it, what’s most important is our relationships with others. That’s what the songs on “Wiser Then” explore,” he says in a release.
“These songs reflect my desire as a person and songwriter to keep growing and changing, to keep things new and fresh. I want to convey this in my music.”
He has a deft hand at coming up with catchy alt-country grooves, fleshed out with interesting layers of instrumentation and vocals/lyrics that tell a story. As a singer, he reminds occasionally of Willie Nelson, with an earnest tenor that believes the words he sings.
Each song offers a different mood. On Do Things Different, he adds a nicely dirty guitar line to the texture, with an upbeat rhythm section. Am I Wiser? is the voice of an older man, the lyrics and musical mode reflective and a little melancholy. It ends with a nicely bluesy finish.
Darlin is likewise imbued with a worldly sensibility - that of someone who, at the very least, learns from their romantic mistakes. The song is guitar driven, adding electric to the acoustic about midway for an instrumental riff.
You Give Me A Reason has an infectious swing and clever lyrics. The electric guitar solo is one of the EP's highlights.
Sam began playing in Boston bands in the 1980s, and recorded his first solo LP in 1989, followed by a second solo release in 1996. After several years playing in bands, he left looking for new musical directions. That's the impetus for his solo release.
Personnel: Sam Bergquist - vocals and acoustic guitar; Finn Bergquist - electric guitar; Jason Altshuler - bass