Like Dawes, Sam Outlaw hails from Los Angeles. But unlike Dawes, Outlaw doesn’t channel Laurel Canyon folk on his album but a kind of country more akin to fellow Californian Dwight Yoakam. He knew he wouldn’t fit in with the polished cotton-candy country of Nashville, so he stayed centralized in southern California. Staying removed from mainstream country appears to have been a boon to Outlaw’s quality. Each track on Angeleno is rich with So-Cal and Hispanic influences, from the horns on opener “Who Do You Think You Are?” to the backing piano on the title track. It’s a refreshing blend of country and Latin music- enough to make you want to move to L.A. yourself.
Quicker listen: Not quite outlaw country, but Outlaw country’s just as good.