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Album Review

As far as Red Dirt country goes, Sam Riggs — seen here solo on this 2016 album, his backing band Night People not sharing credit — veers toward the mainstream on Breathless. The sound isn't as dusty as so many of his Texas brethren — the bright production is as open as the West Texas skies, even when it dips into electronic rhythms — but beneath the sheen, he favors finely etched story-songs and narratives, trademarks of the maverick-minded outlaws. Sometimes, he kicks up the dust with a tip of the hat to Western swing ("Wake the Dead") or cranks up the guitars ("High on a Country Song"), but most of this is moody and deliberate, alternating between slyly sad ballads and meditative midtempo crawls. Such a slow pace, combined with Riggs' plainspoken vocals, means Breathless tends to require attention without necessarily demanding it; it's taken as a given that you'll accept it on its own terms, putting in the time to derive pleasure in the subtly shaded melodies and turns of phrase. Without that effort, Breathless can seem to be that oddest of things: Red Dirt mood music.

Customer Reviews

Lucky One!

I can't begin to tell you how much talent is in this band! I found Sam Riggs by accident and I'm so glad I did. I have heard a few of the songs from this album live and I couldn't wait until it came out. I have been following Texas music from Illinois for over 15 years and I can honestly say this band has me more excited than I ever have been about any band!

I don't write reviews but

This guy is amazing. He reminds me of early 2000's country before it became pop. I would definitely recommend.

Love this guy

This guy has tons of potential. Granger Smith just cracked the top 5 and might go up to #1. I think Sam can do the same. Definitely has the talent. Betting on you brother!


Genre: Poetry

Years Active: '10s

Sam Riggs may be a transplant to Austin, Texas but with this band, the Night People, the singer/songwriter creates a dusty, muscular racket that's unmistakably Red Dirt Country. Riggs demonstrates a slight inclination for big, poppy anthems -- a sound that reflects his early love of Garth Brooks -- that separate him from the rest of the Red Dirt artists, but his sensibility remains anchored in the defiant spirit of Texas. A native of central Florida, Riggs moved to Austin at the age of 19 in 2007....
Full Bio
Breathless, Sam Riggs
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Customer Ratings