Sam Shrieve – “Bittersweet Lullabies”

The October 2009 debut release, Bittersweet Lullabies, from songwriter Sam Shrieve, contains a wide mix of styles — folk, pop, alternative, indie and ambient soundings. The recording displays his abilities to be a vocalist, pianist, acoustic guitarist, and drummer who can also play the strings.

Now in his third year of study, Shrieve, a 20-year-old from Seattle, Washington, is a student at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, in Boston.

He has generated a recording of 10 original classic pop orientated selections. However, the noticeable standout track on this release is a respectable cover version of the Leonard Cohens’ classic, Hallelujah. The inclusion and acknowledgment to a well known and highly respected song master by Shrieve was a great idea. The dreamy instrumental introduction leads you nicely into the great lyrics.

There are some noticeable jazz vibes amid the strong composition, via the fine guitar work timbre of Bill Frisell, on the track, I’ll Be There.

Belita displays nuance accessory in Spanish flavorings as the acoustic guitar brings forth images from far away places. His composition of the song Beautiful has generated heightened attention from his online fans. Second City really showcases his upbeat and distinct classic pop based sound, complete with a catchy chorus.

As the son of legendary drummer Michael Shrieve, of Santana fame, Sam is most willing to absorb the seasoned advice from the masterful shaman Carlos Santana,
“There are musicians, and then there are visionaries, and it is up to you to decide how it is your going to become both.” Shrieve then adds, “That one really stuck with me.”

Shrieve resolves a need to continually hone his craft and technique. Citing professorial advice to “add more tools to his tool box,” and to learn to, “paint with more colors.” His realization is his musical growth will come from learning to be more emotive and articulate as he navigates his own path. Shrieve believed the strong diversity and vehicle in his music are, “just different parts of whom I am.”

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