"Thirsty Thursday" Featuring Sam Varga
Thank you for talking with us Sam! Was there ever music playing in the kitchen growing up? Oh, yes. My mom would cook for these huge parties and the kitchen would be a mess. I remember a lot of Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison, Dixie Chicks, and Sheryl Crow. Now when I come home my parents are mostly playing different writers from Nashville I’ve showed them! What is your favorite dish to cook? I’m not proud of it...But I’ve recently gotten in the awful habit of cooking ribeyes when I get home from the bars. I’ll buy a rack of them at Kroger and tell myself I’m going to use them as “rewards” through the next few weeks. Then I come home at 2 or 3 in the morning, see them and can’t resist. Kroger Ribeye, a ton of butter in the pan on high, Montreal seasoning, 2 minutes each side, throw on top of some al dente butter noodles doused in teriyaki...down the hatch. The other night I fried an egg on top for good measure.
If I was a bartender, what would you order? Either a great bourbon around 100 proof w/ a big rock and an orange twist, or an absinthe rinse negroni (my producer Will Stone got me hooked on those and I’m experiencing a cocktail renaissance because of it)
If you could share a meal with any four individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
Churchill, Stephen Colbert, Jim Carrey, and maybe…. Lincoln??
You recently released your new single, "MAYDAY" that you also co-wrote. Tell us about the writing process and where the idea came from. I had the opening line for a while, but couldn’t find the song to put it to. I was pretty bummed out one day and I was driving home and kind of heard the song coming. I strummed it out when I got home and I think the entire song was cranked out in about 45 minutes. It’s pretty self-deprecating. It was a really hard time, but it’s impossible to be scared and laugh at the same time. Writing this song was me laughing. Is there any news for the forthcoming album? The release date is March 6th! Still figuring out what I'm gonna call the damn thing. But big party in Nashville March 13th at the Loading Dock. I know that much!
Which song off of your EP is the most dear to you and why? ”When She Falls” - That’s the closest sonic representation to who I am. I wrote it coming off a canyon in Montana. Something was seriously pulling me to go out there, so I booked a tour and went out there by myself playing my way to Montana. I had know idea where I was going or what I was looking for, but I definitely found it and at least some of that is captured in the tune. Who have been some of your biggest musical influences growing up and do the same artists currently continue to influence you now? Jackson Browne had me hooked before I even knew it. I go back to him quite a bit. The emo scene was really where I fell in love with songs because it was just so visceral and you could feel that catharsis coming out of the singers in that genre - and that still influences me today. I like music that's really dynamic and a really vulnerable lyric...where the singer isn’t trying to be polished but is honest with who he/she is in that moment, no matter how incomplete, lost, or petty.
You’ve met a lot of people and musicians during your career. Who has made the biggest impact on you and why? My co-writers here in Nashville. William Stone, Lauren Weintraub, Nicole Miller, Kacey Velazquez, Allie Dunn, Patrick Murphy to name a few…..to be surrounded by people you consider to be the best at what they do...and to be able to create with them..it’s unreal. Every one of them inspires me to write better.
Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why? Jack Daniel's. I got to work down in Lynchburg when I first moved to Nashville. There's no better palace on earth and no better family. I would love to represent that family one day. Also, the best whiskey in the world....but that's just a perk ;)
With just two short years in Nashville, Sam has already established himself as a serious writer and dynamic performer. Coming up in the fast-paced punk scenes of his high school days and the Blues of Austin TX, there is an edge and energy that makes his songs stand out in Music City. He has quickly come up through the writing ranks and can frequently be seen playing staples in town such as Whiskey Jam, Buscall, and The Listening Room. His first year in Nashville saw the release of his debut single “Sex & Whiskey” and more music, including his debut EP coming early 2020.