‘Acoustic soul’ singer-songwriter returns to her roots
L.A.-based Samantha Schultz visits her hometown for two shows at the Citadel
Samantha Schultz’s musical ambitions have taken her across several continents into varied styles of music and some high-profile settings. But she hasn’t forgotten her Edmonton roots.
Now based in Los Angeles, the Edmonton-raised singer-songwriter is back in town this weekend for two shows in The Club at The Citadel and she’s looking forward to re-connecting with friends from the roots scene here.
“I was blessed to have a really amazing community to grow up in and work in here in Canada,” she said.
Schultz had already put out two acclaimed albums before she moved to L.A. in 2013 to pursue a range of musical options. Since then she’s been involved in everything from party bands to television advertising jingles to film soundtracks and other session work.
“I tend to fall into work down there. I do music full time and if I’m looking forward to something an opportunity seems to provide itself, but I learned pretty quickly that L.A. is a city where you have to wear a bunch of different hats to make ends meet. Session work is something I’ve really fallen in love with because it’s a different challenge every time.”
She currently works in several “event bands,” either as a singer or singer-guitarist, mostly in corporate settings or weddings. Early on she contributed to a series of award-winning radio commercials. Then, in 2015, you could see Schultz as part of Covergirl cosmetics’ female vocal group Rockabellas in a series of television and Internet spots tied to the movie Pitch Perfect 2. Her website features video clips from a few of the projects she has been involved in.
Along the way Schultz fine-tuned her creative goals to pursuing what she calls an “acoustic soul” sound. That will play into another longoverdue recording project that she’s been too busy to finish.
“I’ve grown to love the sound of gospel music and the rhythms of soul and R’n’ B, but there’s still a part of me that prefers the acoustic side I started in with folk music. I hope more people can come to see this as an authentic genre.”
She continues to find songwriting inspirations in many places but says “it’s a very interesting time to be living in the United States” and she hopes to address that experience.
Narrowing her personal focus came after a long involvement in music that started with singing from age three, playing guitar at 11 and eventually graduating from the Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts. Releases like Ink To Paper (2011) brought Schultz to folk festival stages in Edmonton and beyond, with nominations from the Canadian Folk Music Awards and the Edmonton Music Awards.
Enrolling in Boston’s Berklee College would later find Schultz’s trio representing the college at festivals in Helsinki and St. Petersburg, Russia.
She also spent four years in Berklee’s award-winning a cappella group Pitch Slapped, while another ensemble took her to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates for a sixweek performance residency. She credits her years at Berklee for introducing her to jazz, gospel and rhythm and blues influences that continue to surface in her music
Coincidentally, it’s now just over a decade since Schultz had the show for her debut disc in the same space, then the Rice Theatre, now The Club, at The Citadel.
She performs a mix of original and cover songs on vocal and guitar Friday and Saturday with the backing of percussionist Trey Matias, a regular collaborator from L.A. Tickets are $40.95 available in advance from the Citadel box
I was blessed to have a really amazing community to grow up in and work in here in Canada.
office (780-425-1820 or online at citadeltheatre.com).
UPTOWN FOLK HOSTS WINTERFEST 9
Folk fans and musicians alike are gearing up for Winterfest this weekend, Uptown Folk Club’s ninth annual marathon of broadly appealing acoustic music.
Over Friday and Saturday evenings, visiting American names like Molly Tuttle, Steve Spurgin and the band Bluegrass Etc. appear with Canadians Cindy Church and Nathan Tinkham, Rick Garvin, Chris Ronald, and The Great Plains, and Alberta songwriters like Lara Yule Singh and Shane Chisholm. Some of the same artists sit in Saturday afternoon for a Songwriters Workshop (1 p.m.) and Instruments Workshop (2:15 p.m.).
“Our name says folk club but in practice we feature folk, country and bluegrass music,” said current club president Steve Gosse. “It’s really about giving time to acoustic music and original songwriters. People often tell me, ‘I didn’t know all the performers beforehand but I’m sure glad I came out,’ and we like to hear that.”
Gosse is a veteran of the scene who grew up in Eastern Canada, taking in festivals like Mariposa before he moved to Edmonton in the late 1960s. He’s a musician himself, like many members of Uptown Folk, who range from part-timers to professionals, working together for the love of the music.
Around 50 volunteers keep the club going during the regular season with shows and open stages every month or so following their informal manifesto to entertain and help nurture up and coming talents at the same time. About half the members get involved for Winterfest and a few will even appear on stage this weekend in two bands — Legion of Folk, or Family Folk.