“I’m the last of the protest song heroes” sings Sam Draisey in ‘Five Years Later’. That in itself is unusual because many writers of protest songs deny that’s what they are. Furthermore, ‘Five Years Later’ is a very good protest song and it comes on the back of ‘The Worst Lie Of All’, which you might consider to be even better. Sam is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Wolverhampton and As I Live And Breathe is something like his fifth album. Like others before him he’s turned his back on the first two and re-issued some of the songs on Anthology. This album has been a long time in the making and the polish that Sam acquired in recent years is self-evident.
As I Live And Breathe is, in many ways, autobiographical but often in an oblique way. ‘Used To Be My Hero’ is an attack on an un-named musician and my mind immediately turned to Bob Dylan but Sam is too young to have that sort of attachment to Bob. He says that “punk’s not dead” so that alters the time frame and opens up the field a bit. To confuse things further he follows that with ‘Let’s Not Grow Old’ heavily inspired by Johnny Cash.
Sam is a whole band all by himself but he has back-up from Dickie Davis on drums and Daniel Hart on second electric guitar plus his wife Kayla, who co-wrote some of the songs, providing vocals on ‘Turning You Down’. Sam has a distinctive voice that sounds younger than his years and he’s mixed himself well up front even when the band is rocking – oh yes, he did all the recording, mixing and mastering himself, too. And now I’ll tell you that Sam has only one arm and I discovered that fact only when I’d got to the end of the record which is when you learn it. Sam is someone who has proved what can be overcome.
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Artist’s website: http://www.samdraisey.com/
‘Don’t Forget’ – live: