Busker’s new album is tribute to Queen Street

Press Release – Mental Health Foundation

Sam RB is the New Zealand busker whose song ‘Stand Tall’ represented the nation at the 2012 London Olympics. Now her second album, ‘Queen Street Acoustics’, is about to hit the streets. It will be launched at Parnell Farmers Market (9am-12pm) on Saturday 23 March and available on Auckland’s Queen Street every fine evening from then on.

Sam has a significant reason for taking her new album to Queen Street

“The album name and design comes from busking on Queen St,” she says. “It celebrates the day by day, dollar by dollar, song by song progress forged on one of New Zealand’s busiest and most cosmopolitan streets. And it recognises the people of Queen St who have made this album possible.”

Two years of busking have produced material for ‘Queen Street Acoustics’ that reflects the vibrant context they were written in. Sam says the songs were shaped and honed by the honesty of playing on the streets.

“I’ve been very fortunate to find a place where my music is accepted,” she says. “As a result I’ve had more experience and interaction with live audiences than I could have had anywhere else.

“I’ve gone from being house-bound to performing live hundreds of times every year, so this album marks a significant transition in my music and I couldn’t be happier with the final result. Busking has been a very validating song-writing process.”

Another change from Sam’s debut album (‘Seems I Might Be Human’) is her venture into co-writing with other artists for the first time.

There are 14 tracks on the album and four of them are co-written,” Sam says. “Two tracks had lyrics written by Mike Chunn (Split Enz) and two by US songwriter Jemi Blue, and I absolutely loved composing the music and working with their words.”

Mike Chunn is a big fan of Sam RB and her songs and says he thought, “’Mmm, I’d like to have a piece of her new album’, so I sent in a few lyrics and the next thing they’re songs!”

‘Queen Street Acoustics’ is produced by Andrew Buckton (Studio 203), and also features artists: Stephen Small, Christelle Berthon, Eddie Rayner, Andrew Buckton and Mike Chunn.

This is an album of exploration and discovery. The diverse tracks encompass everything from love songs to social issues such as bullying and the rights of children. There are also reflections on psychosis and depression, and a tribute to NZ artist, the late Don Binney.

The album is $20 and available for purchase directly from Sam RB when she is busking on Queen St from 23 March. You can also purchase it by emailing samrb@vodafone.co.nz or downloading the songs online from iTunes or Amplifier.

Preview ‘Black Dog’ at http://youtu.be/3V-3pGIFy3w

Sam RB is a past NZ Mental Health Media Grant fellow. The grant funding she received helped to produce her first album ‘Seems I Might Be Human’. Find Sam RB on facebook or www.samrb.com

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