The very first time I heard Brother Down, by Sam Roberts Band, I loved it. The song was played on CBC Radio, the day before Sam and his band were to perform at Bluesfest for the first time (it was either in 2005 or 2006).
As luck would have it, I was volunteering for the Ottawa Blues Society tent that night, and my shift was ending just before the band was set to play.
The Sam Roberts Band puts on a great live performance. Despite the pouring rain, I watched the concert, which was held on the main stage, outside City Hall (this was before Bluesfest moved to the grounds of the Canadian War Museum).
Sam Roberts thanked the crowd for their enthusiasm, and promised to return every year for as long as Bluesfest would invite him.
I saw him perform at Bluesfest four or five times. And on Parliament Hill, for Canada Day.
And I've bought every album that he's put out.
His latest album, Lo-Fantasy, isn't set for release until February 11, 2014. But Sam and the boys have released a single, Shapeshifters. It's a new sound for the band—a shift from the hard-beat, driving tunes of Chemical City and Love at the End of the World. The song, like the title implies, shows that the band can shift gears and shape itself into something new, something fresh.
Enjoy the tune: it's a sign of things to come.