5 Minutes in Texas With Sam Riggs
Ray of Light
“[Ray Wylie Hubbard’s wife Judy] sort of quasi-managed me for a short time through some struggles I was going through. And I met Ray via her. And Ray and Judy kind of became my magical, musical godparents, so to speak. I think Ray saw that I was in a malleable place in my musical career and songwriting, and he jumped on that and set me in the right direction, in terms of just writing real lyricism, really putting out songs that you’re proud of, that you don’t mind singing for 30 years. It helped me to redefine my sound, or find my sound in general. I think I was really searching for myself for a while there, and when you get a nod from someone like Ray, it’s really empowering.”
“A friend of mine who was running a ranching operation out of Crockett, Texas, would drive back and forth from Florida. And he came back with a [mix] CD — it had some Reckless Kelly on it, some Randy Rogers on it, things like that. And [Reckless Kelly’s] ‘Wicked Twisted Road’ was on that CD, and that song really spoke to me. I think at that time I sort of idolized them. The sound that I wanted was that sound. I wanted a sound that really didn’t bow down to anybody. You weren’t going to find it in the Top 40 pipeline.”
Go Garth or Go Home
“Growing up, [Garth Brooks] was a beacon for me. Sort of the lighthouse in the fog. I always followed that kind of idea that he had. Like, we have a limited amount of time on this earth, and you have an exponential reach with your music if you chose to. [With Garth,] there was no box. There were no lines. He went way outside of where you ever thought he was going to go. ‘Standing Outside the Fire,’ he took that video in a completely left-field [direction]. And ‘The Thunder Rolls’ obviously was amazing, and ‘The Red Strokes.’ So many different songs, and the videos were just off-the-wall and awesome.”
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