Sam Phelps is a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter from Southern Kentucky whose music draws on country-roots heroes like Steve Earle and Jason Isbell. After spending his twenties crisscrossing the country as the guitarist in a series of bands, Phelps kick-started his solo career with 2019’s “I Can’t Sing,” which found the singer confronting his innermost backstory in song for the first time. Phelps spent the pandemic writing feverishly, which has resulted in his most polished and fully-formed set of originals to date. His forthcoming EP, Hunter Springs Road, produced by Grammy award-winning artist Chance McCoy (Old Crow Medicine Show), and featuring guitar virtuoso Laur Joamets (Sturgill Simpson), will be released on November 4, 2021.
On Phelps’ “New York Newsstand Blues” our ears are offered an intimately voiced composition with blue collar twang and a bluesy ethos. New York “Newsstand Blues” feels a bit like a long-lost Todd Snider deep cut, reverberated harmonica, and tasty guitar shading via Laur Joamets.
“I was walking up 14th Street during the coronavirus pandemic and I saw a shutdown newsstand. It was the oddest, saddest, slightly scary thing to me. Like apocalyptic. I had never noticed a closed-down newsstand before. And a flood of random thoughts came into my mind about my past.”