Like Dave Matthews, Canadian singer-songwriter Sam Roberts is a bit charismatically challenged. Despite his long hippie hair and Christ-like beard, Roberts is an average-looking guy who can appear a bit dorky when he strikes a rock star pose on stage, but that's offset by an ability to crank out anthemic, hook-heavy, proto-rock tunes with a band that boasts inventive lead guitarist Dave Nugent and the powerhouse rhythm section of bassist James Hall and drummer Corey Zadorozny. "Don't Walk Away Eileen" was already a hit in Canada last year, and should follow suit here with its bellowing, sing-along chorus and driving melody. "Every Part of Me" is a Merseybeat romp that sounds like Gerry and the Pacemakers singing Ray Davies. "On the Run" is a riff-heavy modern rocker. And "Dead End" starts out echoing every British band of the past 30 years before it shifts gears into a gritty blues-rock jam that lets the band strut its stuff.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.