Review: ‘Goodnight Riverdale Park’ – Suitcase Sam

Suitcase Sam
Goodnight Riverdale Park
Curve Music

Emerging from a somewhat mysterious background, this is the first full length offering from Canadian Suitcase Sam and is a major step forward from his two previous EPs, ‘Waiting On A Train’ and ‘Get It And Go’.

Fusing country, blues, jazz and folk, ‘Goodnight Riverdale Park’ ought to elevate Suitcase Sam to the fringes of the country music premier league. His vocals have an ‘old timey or I’ve lost my false teeth’ feel which sometimes get rather drowned out by the excellent band and backing vocals. Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers influences abound and we could be listening to Hank’s Drifting Cowboys on Friday Afternoon which gets a second airing along with Tattered Shoes. The instrumental Maple Leaf Stomp has a gorgeous Charleston beat whilst Sam drifts into depression on the slow bluesy My, Oh My. Growing Up is a fine country rocking opening but the album generally focuses on Suitcase Sam’s drifting existence and The Grand Trunk Pacific Coast Railroad puts his life into perspective.

Transport yourself back in time to when country music was real country music.

By John Roffey

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