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Sarah Sample Reimagines Pearl Jam's 'Nothingman'

Sarah Sample has created a reputation for weaving a trail of stories through folk, Americana, and country music.

Sarah Sample Reimagines Pearl Jam's 'Nothingman'

In the span of six albums, Sarah Sample has created a reputation for weaving a trail of stories through folk, Americana, and country music. For her latest single, a cover of Pearl Jam's "Nothingman," she's relying on someone else's words to tell a bit of her own story, albeit indirectly. The song is available this Friday, but the video is out now.

Sample recorded the song as a reward for a generous Kickstarter backer who chipped in $500 to help fund 2018's Redwing-her husband. But first, he had to convince his wife he was serious about it.

"I was grateful for the gesture," Sample told The Boot. "But I thought it was just that, a kind gesture, and I never recorded his song. A year later, I asked what he wanted for his birthday. He replied, 'My Pearl Jam cover.'"

A few months later, she recorded "Nothingman" for him at June Audio in Provo, Utah. Sample and the band recorded the song live.

"The room felt electric," she says. "I came home the next day and, after our kids were asleep, I turned off the lights, and we listened to the rough mix of 'Nothingman.' James didn't say a word while the track played, but his shoulders shook by the end, and in tears, he told me he loved it."

2018's Redwing features Sample's cut-to-the-bone storytelling, framed with empathy and compassion, and told with the best singing of her career. Produced by Sample's longtime producer Scott Wiley (Elliott Smith, Bonnie Raitt), Redwing came to life over a few weeks of sessions at June Audio, as well.

Sample has played several prominent festivals-Merlefest, Cayamo, Folks Fest, Sisters, Telluride and Kerrville among them, and has warmed up stages for artists like Darrell Scott, Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers, Marketa Irglova and Over The Rhine.

She's also a founding member of the folk-gospel collective The Lower Lights, who take on gospel classics from old hymnals and Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, and even Stevie Wonder. She lives in the welcoming, wild wide open of Wyoming with her husband and two daughters, where she is also a nurse.

Watch the video here:

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