Sam Outlaw

Sam Morgan (born July 28, 1982), professionally known as Sam Outlaw, is a country music singer-songwriter and producer. Outlaw calls his music "SoCal country", country music refashioned with a Southern California vibe of the classic honky-tonk and troubadour pop.[1]

Sam Outlaw
Sam Outlaw at Interstellar Rodeo 2016 Edmonton, Canada
Sam Outlaw at Interstellar Rodeo 2016 Edmonton, Canada
Background information
Birth nameSam Morgan
Born (1982-07-28) July 28, 1982 (age 37)
Aberdeen, South Dakota, U.S.
GenresCountry, Honky Tonk, Americana
Occupation(s)country music singer-songwriter
Years active2009–present
LabelsSix Shooter Records
Associated actsMichaela Anne, Lydia Luce, Sarah Darling

Early lifeEdit

Outlaw was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota as Sam Morgan.[2] At the age of 10, his family moved to southern California. He grew up in a conservative Christian home and was limited by his parents as to what kind of music he could listen to. He did however, note the influence of Western Swing band Asleep at the Wheel and how their all-star tribute albums to Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys acted as "country music in a bottle" for him. The Beatles were also a huge influence on Outlaw. As a young adult, he had a musical revelation when he heard the classic country voices of Emmylou Harris and George Jones. Outlaw notes that George Jones' music inspired him to get more serious about playing the guitar and writing songs.[3]

In "his late 20s ... both his parents’ and his own marriage simultaneously crumbled."[4]

When Outlaw decided to actively pursue a music career, he borrowed his mother's maiden name, Outlaw, for a stage moniker. His mother has since died and he honors her by continuing to use the family name.[1]


Sam Outlaw had a successful advertising career in Southern California; however, on his thirtieth birthday he switched gears to pursue his passion for music. Outlaw self-released an EP in 2014. It immediately created a buzz and he secured performance slots at the Stagecoach Festival and AmericanaFest produced by the Americana Music Association.[5]

CMT featured his music video, Cry For Me, in 2014.

While enlisting a crack group of backing musicians to record Angeleno, Outlaw’s first LP, he began working with musician and record producer, Ry Cooder. Outlaw wrote all of the songs on Angeleno. Ry Cooder and his son, drummer Joachim Cooder, co-produced and played on the album. Other musicians on the album include Bo Koster, Taylor Goldsmith, Gabe Witcher and vocalist Arnold McCuller.[6]

On March 3, 2015, Outlaw was signed to the reputable Six Shooter Records as its first US act.[7] Outlaw was featured in Rolling Stone as one of the top country music artists to see at SXSW in 2015.[8]

Outlaw's second studio album Tenderheart was released on April 14 and debuted at number 3 on the UK Country Albums Chart[9] and garnered two award nominations from the British Country Music Association.

On May 3, 2019 - the same night he made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry - Outlaw released an EP called Hat Acts. At the time of its release, he wrote on his website: “I wanted to do something different with this album. Hat Acts is inspired by honky tonk scenes, hip-hop skits and of course — real life. This is a bit of a ‘concept album’ and I had a lot of fun putting it together.”[10] Later that Summer, he released a duet with Sarah Darling called "Forever & Always" across streaming platforms and was also a radio single in the United Kingdom.

As ProducerEdit

September 27, 2019 saw the release of Outlaw's first project as a producer when Michaela Anne released Desert Dove on Yep Roc. He co-produced the album with longtime friend, collaborator and member of Delta Spirit, Kelly Winrich.[11] Rolling Stone described the album as, "is a shimmering sonic statement of purpose that cements the 33-year-old artist as a nuanced songwriter with a penchant for telling difficult stories."[12] The album garnered critical acclaim from outlets including Rolling Stone[13] (#10), Stereogum[14] (#9), and Entertainment Focus[15] (#10) who included the record on each of their respective end of year "Best of 2019" lists.


Studio albumsEdit

Title Details Peak positions Sales



Angeleno 22 4
Tenderheart 17 42 3
Hat Acts (EP)[10]
  • Release date: May 3, 2019
  • Label: Black Hills Recordings
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Promotional SinglesEdit

Title Details
"Love Is On A Roll"
  • Release date: March 29, 2019
  • Label: Black Hills Recordings
"Forever and Always" (Duet with Sarah Darling)
  • Release date: July 26, 2019
  • Label: Black Hills Recordings

Music videosEdit

Year Video Director
2014 "Cry for Me"[20] Matt Wignall
2015 "Ghost Town"[21] Vern Moen
2016 "Angeleno"[22] Max Cutrone
2017 "Trouble" Chris Phelps

Producer DiscographyEdit

Artist Title Label Release Date Notes
Michaela Anne Desert Rose Yep Roc September 27, 2019 Co-produced with Kelly Winrich

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Association Category Nominated Work Result
2017 UK Americana Awards[23] International Album Of The Year Angeleno Won
Americana Music Honors & Awards Emerging Artist of the Year Sam Outlaw Nominated
British Country Music Association Awards[24] International Artist of the Year Nominated
International Song of the Year "Tenderheart" Nominated
2018 UK Americana Awards[25] Won


  1. ^ a b "Introducing a Country Singer Living in Los Angeles". Shore Fire Media. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  2. ^ Rapid, Stephen (February 17, 2014). "Interview With Sam Outlaw By Stephen Rapid". Lonesome Highway. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  3. ^ "Exclusive Video Premiere: "Ghost Town" by Sam Outlaw". The Daily South. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  4. ^ "Sam Outlaw is on a Mission to Make "Country Music That Doesn't Suck"". 2016-04-27.
  5. ^ "Sam Outlaw Spreads SoCal Country Sound With 'Angeleno'". The Boot. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  6. ^ "Listen to Sam Outlaw and Ry Cooder Redefine California Country". Rolling Stone. March 10, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  8. ^ "SXSW 2015: 21 Country-Music Artists You Need to See". Rolling Stone. March 12, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  9. ^ "Official Country Artists Albums Chart Top 20 | Official Charts Company".
  10. ^ a b Hudak, Joseph (2019-05-03). "Sam Outlaw Mixes Surreal Vignettes With Honky-Tonk Music on New EP". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Michaela Anne - Biography". Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  12. ^ Bernstein, Jonathan (2019-10-05). "How Michaela Anne's Chance Meeting With a Stripper Shaped Her New Album". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  13. ^ Bernstein, Jonathan; et al. (2019-12-09). "40 Best Country and Americana Albums of 2019". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  14. ^ Moss, Marissa R. (2019-12-09). "The 10 Best Country Albums Of 2019". Stereogum. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  15. ^ Ellwood-Hughes, Pip (2019-12-22). "EF Country's Top 10 albums of 2019". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Sam Outlaw Album & Song Chart History - Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  17. ^ "Independent Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media.
  18. ^ "Official Country Artists Albums Chart Top 20 - 15 April 2016 - 21 April 2016". Official Charts Company.
  19. ^ "Official Country Artists Albums Chart Top 20 - 14 April 2017 - 20 April 2017". Official Charts Company.
  20. ^ "Sam Outlaw | Cry for Me | Music Video | CMT". CMT. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  21. ^ "CMT : Videos : Sam Outlaw : Ghost Town". Country Music Television. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  22. ^ Lewis, Randy (February 26, 2016). "Premiere: L.A. country artist Sam Outlaw hits the rodeo in 'Angeleno' video". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  23. ^ "UK Americana Awards 2017 winners announced". 2017-02-04.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-10-22. Retrieved 2017-09-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^

External linksEdit