John K. Samson
singer-songwriter for critically lauded indie rock band The Weakerthans, will release his first full length solo album, Provincial, this January 24th via Epitaph Records. The record contains newly recorded versions of songs from Samson’s previous two acclaimed EPs, “City Route 85” and “Provincial Road 222,” alongside a collection of beautifully evocative new tracks. Provincial is now available for pre-order at the Epitaph Store.
Provincial travels four routes woven into the prairie landscape of Manitoba, the Canadian province where Samson lives. It finds familiar landmarks and forgotten ones; it mines the precise and particular. For a video glimpse of Provincial’s prairie roadmap, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfqLrWMMPZ4
“Heart of the Continent,” describes the sense of loss and despair that haunts the former site of a Winnipeg landmark, set against a backdrop of lilting country folk. The melodic rocker “When I Write My Master’s Thesis,” details a young academic’s struggle to hold his life together as he tries to complete his research of a forgotten institution in tiny Ninette, Manitoba, while "www.ipetitions.com/petition/rivertonrifle/" is a song in the form of an online petition to honor the valiant hockey player Reggie “The Riverton Rifle” Leach.
They are hymns for the departed and rockers for the living, songs about dying villages, Icelandic longing, snowplows, broken glass, satellites, hockey skates, and staff room romances. In creating these sonic portraits, Samson talked to relatives, friends and strangers; he visited archives, a tuberculosis sanatorium turned RV Park and a forgotten cemetery. The resulting album contains 12 fierce, tuneful, vivid stories united by a deep sense of place.
The Weakerthans were born out of the Winnipeg-punk-scene. The group’s breakthrough album Reconstruction Site and its celebrated follow up Reunion Tour deftly merged a melodic punk with Bob Dylan-Ray Davies lyrical insights, earning a wider fan base and establishing Samson as a songwriter of immense talent. Paste Magazine wrote of Reunion Tour, “If such a prize existed, it would be the leading candidate for this year’s Punk Pulitzer.”