Since writing his first song at the age of 11, Sammy Brue has released three EPs, his New West full-length debut, I Am Nice, and a 2018 EP, Down with Desperation. But these myriad accomplishments may have just been the setup for what is arguably his finest work to date, Crash Test Kid. The Ogden, Utah, native has always been an artist seemingly wise beyond his years, but on Crash Test Kid, he often gets at the heart of a matter or melody with just a simple but insightful turn of phrase or clever guitar work. DittyTV Senior Editor Tim W. Jackson got in touch with Brue to offer you a further glimpse into this artist here, and then check out a world premiere video below.
1) It’s kind of crazy to talk about your “youth” because you’re still so young, but I know that music has been important to you from a very early age. Can you recall a first musical memory, and who were some of your early musical influences?
My first musical memories came from cruising in the car with my siblings and parents around the Oregon coast trees. That was the way my mom and dad got us to go to sleep. They’d play everything from Old Crow Medicine Show and Bob Dylan to Nirvana. I used to always think that was just what was on the radio until I learned I was being introduced to incredible artists that kids my age didn’t really know. I was introduced to Avett Brothers, Justin Townes Earle, Tom Petty, and even NWA very early on in my life.
2) Living just a few minutes away from Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, I have to ask about your first album, I Am Nice, which was recorded there. I know that Ben Tanner and John Paul White produced it, but what was the overall experience like, and who else was involved on that album?
Recording I Am Nice, in my full experience being a lil’ more grown, I look back and I was literally in music college at 15 years old being put into a room with Muscle Shoals session musicians, John, and Ben. It was my first opportunity to actually mold my music to sound how I wanted, and overall just a very first big step into the music career.
3) Let’s talk about your 2020 album Crash Test Kid just a bit. Again, what can you tell us about recording that record and the collaborators you had on that project?
Writing Crash Test Kid with Iain Archer was a beautiful experience. We found a real vibe with each other, which is surprising because, especially at that time, I was on the fence about co-writing and wasn’t sure how I felt about it. But the songs were undeniably good, and when I find a vibe, I’ll keep the vibe going for as long as necessary, so we ended up recording a whole damn record in England, which by itself is a book of stories.
4) Like everyone else who released an album in 2020, promotion was a challenge. What have you done during these pandemic times to keep in touch with your fans and promote the record?
The pandemic has definitely been hard on everyone. I’ve always used concerts as my method of promotion, so I’ve toured this country so many times and finally got to tour Europe with the Marcus King Band, but when all that came to a halt, I definitely knew I needed to go back to straight grinding, using elbow grease, back to the (almost self-toxic 😂) mindset of never giving up no matter what happens. I’ve been using my time to really study how to work social media and just answer back to every person who supports me. And lastly, I’ve been trying to grow musically and artistically, I’m writing songs and rehearsing a new band called BRUE, and I’m super stoked about it.
5) Finally, let’s talk about your video for “Paint It Blue,” which we’re so excited to offer as a world premiere. What can you tell us about filming it?
This is a total homemade Sammy Brue and Friends/Sister with a camera, writing a script, and making something happen. This video is also an homage to the end of my solo music for right now. The others in the end of the video are my bandmates for BRUE (@brueband), Kip Congo and Landon Gwynn. I like to think of this video as the transition to this new era for BRUE, so watch out for the new stuff from us and enjoy us painting our city.
Thanks, Sammy, and now we’re happy to introduce the world to this wonderful video for “Paint It Blue.”