If commercial radio wasn’t currently in such a wheezing atrophic
decline, chances are excellent that some program director with ears
would have already made Atlanta singer Sam Thacker‘s
song “Right Where We Want It” into a monster hit.
Thanks to social media, the songwriter doesn’t have to wait for radio or a
major record label to notice him.
With 177,500 page views and 28,185 spins of “Right Where We Want It” on
My Space and two albums available on iTunes, the 27-year-old Emory
University graduate is doing just fine.
Tonight at the W hotel downtown at 9, the performer makes his Drinkshop
debut, opening with an acoustic set followed by a stripped down set with
In the age of “American Idol” when a pop star can be created and brought
to market in 18 weeks, Thacker realizes that non-stop gigging across
Cordele, Valdosta, Augusta, Opelika and St. George Island in an
trailer-tailed SUV is doing it the hard way.
“My mom begged me to try out for ‘American Idol’ last year,”
Thacker told Intel this week, crashed in a corner of Drinkshop, sipping a
glass of Macallan scotch, neat.
“We don’t even have a van. Sometimes it sucks so hard. Out of the 18
hours you plan a show, two of those hours are actually spent on stage.
But there’s just something about being in the trenches with your
buddies. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.”
Those endless dots of paint down the centers of Southern highways helped
to inspire the title of Thacker’s latest album, “Lines.”
The songwriter’s strong sense of melody, coupled with the unbridled
vulnerability he displays in songs like “You,” “Don’t Leave Tonight” and
“The Last” have helped him to build an impressive fan base over the
past five years.
“For ‘Lines,’ I remember going back to the lyric sheet even after each
song was written and asking myself: ‘Is this honest?’ It’s not always a
fun thing to do and it’s not always pretty.”
Indeed, “No One Needs to Know” could be licensed for the inevitable Tiger
Woods bio pic.
But then, there’s “Right Where We Want It,” an ode to the modern
independent girlfriend who one-ups your friends with Jager bombs and
spends Sunday afternoons watching football with you.
The pop gem took three studio sessions to record and even then, Thacker
wasn’t sure about slipping the shiny piece of ear candy into his sets.
Recalls Thacker with a laugh: “I played it for [songwriting pal and
collaborator] Corey [Smith] one night in the dressing room
before a gig and he told me, ‘Dude, it you don’t play that song
at every single show from now on, you’re an idiot.’ “