Sam Shaber

Blessed with a big, full, robust voice, Sam Shaber was among the more promising female singer/songwriters to come out of the New York folk circuit in the '90s. The artists Shaber inspires comparisons to include, among others, the Indigo Girls, Tracy Chapman, Ani DiFranco, and Phranc. The native New Yorker has also been compared to Joni Mitchell and even though there are traces of Mitchell in some of her writing, Shaber has a bigger voice. In fact, Shaber is enough of a belter to sing R&B and she would probably be quite convincing as a straight-up R&B singer. But Shaber (who has often accompanied herself on acoustic guitar) is very much a folk-pop artist and that approach has earned her a small but enthusiastic following (especially in the northeastern region of the United States). Born Samantha Shaber in 1973, Shaber is the daughter of screenwriter David Shaber and artist Alice Shaber. After growing up in the New York area, she attended Cornell University in the early '90s; in 1994, she graduated with a B.A. in cultural anthropology. As the '90s progressed, she became increasingly active on the Manhattan club scene. Those who caught Shaber live -- whether she was playing in the Big Apple or touring the United States -- realized that she was never a waif-life singer à la Jewel or Suzanne Vega. Always sounding like a woman instead of a girl, she brought a full-bodied vocal style to the stage. Shaber released her debut album, In the Bunker, on her own label, Brown Chair Records, in 1997. That CD was followed by her sophomore album, perfecT, a collection of live performances that was recorded at various Manhattan clubs in 1998 and released on Brown Chair in 1999. Then, in 2000, Shaber released a five-song EP titled Sam*pler on her label. In 2002, Shaber signed with SMG Records, a small independent company based in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur, GA. Eighty Numbered Streets, Shaber's third full-length album and fourth CD overall, was released by SMG in July 2002. ~ Alex Henderson

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