Category Archives: news


Serious question: How soon is too soon to go crazy about this? Maybe even download an app to start counting the days? Is it too soon? I don’t think so. There’s enough Likes out there to establish we’re already all excited, and our beloved Sam Roberts Band have only just started recording.

If we’re a week or two into things, do we start throwing the term “recorded” around? How does that process work, exactly? Do verb tenses matter? Does anything matter? It doesn’t really, does it? Nothing matters except the glorious news SAM ROBERTS BAND IS RECORDING A NEW ALBUM.

I’m sorry for that bad Counting the Days joke I just made. If we’re being honest, I also throw Sam’s lyrics into errryday conversation so people think I’m smarter than I actually am. They’re always like, “You’re right, Annie – time IS a slippery fish now,” and I’m all like, “I know, right!?”

More confessions – I realize I dropped off the face of the Earth, guys, and I’m sorry. It’s a long story, and completely unrelated to our beloved SRB, so who cares, really? We’ve already figured out the only thing that matters here: SAM ROBERTS BAND IS RECORDING A NEW ALBUM.

Exactly everything we know: 

SRB is recording their new album at The Bathouse Studio, a two-hundred-year-old(ish) coachhouse-turned-recording-studio, owned by The Tragically Hip just outside Kingston, Ontario. Sometimes old houses are cold, so that’s probably why Sam is wearing a poncho, and most photos are all plaid and hoodies and jackets.

Graham Walsh is producing SRB’s new album. If you’re into electronica, you might already know Graham from the band Holy Fuck. They’ve got a new release coming out in May. And y’know The Great Detachment? That new Wintersleep record everyone loves? He worked on that one, too.  Other names we could drop right now include Alvvays, Viet Cong, Rich Aucoin, and Lights.

You can know stuff and creep SRB at The Bathouse in somewhat real-time, if you follow both their Twitter AND Instagram accounts. (Josh’s, too – he’s thoughtfully geared up a drum cam for us and everything).

In 2004, the SRB recorded some Chemical City demos at the Hip’s studio, and everybody knows Chemical City is The Opus.  I spend an excessive – perhaps slightly even obsessive – amount of time thinking about these kinda things, and I can’t dream up a better possible start to the new record than ponchos in Kingston. Here’s all we’ve got right now, friends. It’s early days, and the video is just a few seconds, but it’s obvious something beautiful is surfacing at The Bathouse.

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sam shoots and scores at juno cup 2015


(welcome to really rad juno coverage, sports fans, all thanks to shannon daggett – aka @writegirl17. shannon is a girl after my own heart – she went to juno cup in hamilton to cheer on the rockers, and our MVP – lucky number 14 – sam roberts. if you missed the game, no worries –  here’s the highlight reel, courtesy of our resident sports reporter-photographer – thanks so much, shannon!) 

Last Friday I had the distinct pleasure of attending the 2015 #JunoCup in Hamilton. A charity event which pits former pro-hockey players such as Wendel Clark, Rick Vaive, and Gary Roberts against The Rockers including Chris Crippin from @Hedleyonline, Jon Gallant from @BillyTalentband, and – your favourite and mine – #14 Sam Roberts from @SamRobertsBand

This was my first time at any Junos event and I was impressed by the number of Rockers vs NHL Greats (31-12), and by the number of fans in the crowd. As a hockey fan (what true Canadian isn’t?), I was expecting a good time but I was really impressed with how much fun this event was. I’ve seen my fair share of live pro hockey games and the Greats still had “it”. They skate like they’re floating over the ice and instinctively know where their fellow players are and where the pucks coming from Intermission brought some fun little skill games and then the second half brought out why I was there: Sam.

I’m pretty late to the SRB phenomenon, not sure why but likely because I was stuck in SesameStreet/Dora/Disneyland while I raised my own two children, and various others between 2001 and today. However, better late than never and since last year my SRB obsession has taken over my Ipod, truck radio and Pinterest page. My husband has acknowledged my addiction and presented me with four tickets to the Sam Roberts Band concert in Buffalo for my birthday with the instructions to take three friends for a SR Girls Weekend. Best. Gift. Evah. Also, best concert I’ve ever been to (and I’ve seen SRB before that).

But I digress. I ended up at the Juno Cup as part of a Juno’s weekend that started off with @22crusher saying I should volunteer as a seat filler, and btw did I know that SRB was going to be at the Junos? Um, I’m in. A friend helps you hide a body; a best friend gets you tickets to the Juno Cup so you can cheer on your singing hero.

@10kmom comes with to support her Jim Cuddy addiction and we somehow choose seats right where the players are coming onto the ice. As I realize this and see Sam’s a mere 6 feet away from me, I turn into a screaming teenage girl (inside) and have to mentally restrain myself from leaping over the small wall screaming “I love you, sing Uprising Down Under to me right now!!”

Instead I distract myself by taking photos of him waiting to play in the second half:





Who knew Sam Roberts was such an amazing skater? He obviously has skill, and loves to play. He’s able to keep up with the alumni and has a fierce competitive streak (as evidenced by the fact he was in the middle of the action during every shift).

I thoroughly enjoyed the night and had some luck with the camera. I was able to print off some of my better shots and present them to him at #JunoFanFare the next day as a memory, and got a special 8 x10 original picture signed by Sam.

The first step is admitting you have a problem. I’d go watch @samrobertsband open an envelope, but a hockey game? Hells yeah!!

Thanks to thebootlegsaint for liking my photos, and offering me the chance to share my thoughts on #Junocup and our mutual affection for @SamRobertsBand

Keep Chasing the Light!

(thanks SO MUCH for sharing your experience and awesome photos, shannon! now go check out Shannon’s blog, you guys  –  – she says she just might update it, BUT even if she does not, you can read all about why she loves the SRB, and those kinda stories are my favourite. And follow her on Twitter, too – she’s fun, and super loves the SRB  – it’s @writegirl17). 

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happy sam roberts band weekend, vancouver!

sam roberts at the town ballroom in buffalo - via danielle fortier

is there anything better than brother down?

i’m gonna vote no. i’m also gonna vote on behalf of danielle fortier, who took this awesome photo at the town ballroom in buffalo. if you think brother down sounds best in your town, please – let’s debate. any and all nominations happily accepted. i can play this game for days.

the sam roberts band will most definitely play brother down at the interior saving center – they kick off their western winter tour in kamloops tonight – before SRB weekend starts at the commodore in vancouver, and there’s nothing (NOTHING) i love more than a good SRB weekend.

first, a brief recap of the last leg of the lo-fantasy tour – buffalo, toronto, and windsor. it’s brief mostly ’cause i wasn’t actually there, but let’s not get too bogged down with technicalities, because you guys are the absolute BEST, and sent me your rad stuff. i love rad stuff.

from buffalo, we’ve got both friday and saturday’s setlists from the town ballroom, and you can find those on the SRB setlist page. thank you, thank you, karen and charles!! captured this pretty darn great version of the SRB’s juno-nominated we’re all in this together and @cupioproabeo shared with me via the twitter machine . . .

the SRB sold out massey hall, and the photos and reviews are as lovely as you’d hope the photos and reviews from an SRB valentine’s day show would be, complete with roses on jean jacket lapels and a surprise backstage marriage proposal. you think of everything, SRB.

the next day in windsor, the world’s greatest sam roberts cover band, minotaur, played an acoustic set at dr. disc, and the SRB shook everybody’s hands and signed everybody’s stuff. it was like, minus fifty-ish that day in windsor (or something), and the place was STILL packed. iridium films captured everything right here . . .

that night, the SRB played caesar’s windsor, and social media raved about the show the next day. my sources – all reliable, i promise – tell me windsor was phenomenal, and if you need actual proof, here’s the windsor setlist. (ps: thanks so much for sending this, adam!)

caesars windsor, windsor, ON - 02.15.15 (via @adbail)

there’s just one east coast show left before juno week starts – the SRB hit the hometown ice march 7th at the metropolis.  beyond the two (2!) nominations – single of the year and rock album of the year – sam plays juno cup hockey friday, the band will sign your stuff at juno       fan fare saturday, and you can see them play the juno award show sunday night.

wow. whatta weekend. it’s like mmva weekend all over again, but we’ve substituted craft beer for hockey gear. if there’s anybody out there who’d like to actively juno-creep the SRB for me, please tell your people to call my people right away.

tonight, the SRB plays the interior savings centre in kamloops. there’s still tickets left. tomorrow, there’s a winners-only show at vancouver’s lift bar and grill, courtesy of cfox, then the first of two (2!) nights at the commodore, but before i actually get to vancouver (aka SRB show number twenty and twenty one, respectively), i’ve gotta confess something:

this blog is a total lie. it’s the bootleg saint, and it should be the bootlegsaintS, but there’s only one bootleg saint in chemical city, and we must always respect the creative genius of sam (always).  there’s two people behind this blog. first, in alphabetical order, there’s me. i’m annie.  i write posts and work the twitter. there’s also brock, who handles all things technical. if the site crashes and someone’s gotta call go daddy, it’s him. i freak out about juno nominations, session ale, and sam wearing hats. brock loses his mind over arpeggios and josh. we both know all the words to everything.

if you ask brock, he will tell you HE introduced ME to the sam roberts band, and he’s spread this vicious web of lies from coast to coast for over a decade now, mostly because he’s convinced himself it’s true. if you ask me, i’ll tell you the truth and swear on sam – i heard brother down first.

this weekend, we’re gonna bring our battle of alberta (girls vs. boys) to vancouver to settle the score once and for all. we’ve both prepared friday night setlists, and we’ll compare these setlists to sam’s friday night setlist. the person who gets the most songs correct is obviously the person who heard the SRB first, right? right.

i’m gonna channel sam now, tweak my setlist, and plan my victory party. the soundtrack? the inhuman condition, of course. here’s brother down – see you at the commodore, vancouver!

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chasing the light: the best of the sam roberts band’s 2014

lo fantasy

before we press play on this sam roberts band 2014 highlight reel, let’s formally crown lo-fantasy as the best of the best this year. the bold and brave evolution of the sam roberts band is “without a doubt their strongest release to date,” says cbc music, and it’s no surprise the SRB’s efforts earned them a place on best-of lists big (like muchmusic) and small (like your favourite music blogs) this year.

i fan-girled the SRB so very, very hard this year, and this best-of post isn’t exhaustive so much as exhausting, because the SRB covered SO MUCH ground and accomplished SO MUCH in 2014. please note i’m not an expert (just a super fan), so if i’ve missed your SRB best-of 2014 moment PLEASE tell me, ’cause there’s literally nothing i’d rather gush about more. until then, here’s twelve months of this year’s best to start your 2015 off right.

january:  a televised new year’s eve niagara falls performance is a great way to kick off an album-release year, and thousands braved freezing temperatures to ring in 2014 with the SRB and fireworks at the falls. the SRB are pros when it comes to this kinda thing: eric’s gloves are fingertip-less, sam’s layers include the ever-practical and always fashionable plaid, and the horn section is wearing matching toques.

FEBRUARY: the BEST month of 2014, and unsurprisingly a busy one for the SRB, who launched their masterpiece with two performances of the entire record start to finish – one at new york’s mercury lounge, and a second at montreal’s lion d’or. andrej ivanov’s scene magazine review of the montreal launch captures the spirit of an SRB show beautifully. february also included a stop in the et canada orange lounge for a six-song set (partition blues!), a much office session with a billy idol cover, a date with stromboand this up close and personal edge special i love so, so much. (pro tip: the edge special starts around the six-minute mark).

march: the SRB headed to texas in march for the sxsw festival in austin before kicking off the western leg of their US tour in san diego. sylvia borgo of owl and bear captured the SRB at the perfectly dive-y casbah in san diego, tom dellinger of showbams described the SRB’s performance at the chapel in san franscisco as “rich and flawless,” and i took this photo of the SRB (sans james and chet) at the church on york in los angeles.

sam roberts band church on york la march 2014











if you don’t count my compulsion to hug band members within an arm’s reach (so sorry!), the church on york is probably the closest i’ll ever get to the SRB. it’s definitely the most intimate SRB performance i’ll ever experience, unless the SRB play my living room, which probably won’t happen if i don’t get my aforementioned urges under control, so . . . never.  it will never happen. praise the lord we’ll always have the church.

ever watch the most-played artist in your iTunes library perform in the basement of an old church in LA, and you turn around, and there’s the second most-played artist in your iTunes library, and suddenly you’re caught in this surreal circle of awesome and you’ve got the feels SO bad you can’t express yourself without profanity? because there’s actually a word for that, and it’s HOLYF#@!MATTMAYSISHERE.

if you’re keeping track of march . . .  the SRB played the late nights / early mornings of sxsw (including hangs with celeb chef rachael ray who made the first move and invited the SRB to perform at her annual feedback festival just ’cause she likes human heat THAT much) . . . kidnapped the east coast’s aforementioned guitar hero in LA and held him captive long enough to make this magic in seattle . . . killed a string of western US dates, and somehow STILL found the time to record my favourite interview / performance of the year - the audiotree session. the SRB is just too good to us.

april: welcome to the world, session ale! in april the SRB announced their collaboration with ontario’s spearhead brewery to create SRB session ale, and teamed up with young galaxy to create a remix of shapeshifters, releasing only six-hundred hand-numbered vinyl beauties for record store day 2014. (i got lucky number 502 at blackbyrd music in edmonton).

may: the SRB laid kinda low in may, with a few shows in new york state, so here’s metal skin from CBC’s backstage pass lo-fantasy preview from february to fill our hearts until we get to june.  disclaimer: this all-SRB episode of backstage pass was filmed in november and aired in february, but who cares? the SRB performed songs from lo-fantasy surrounded by a bunch of super lucky fans, and it’s preserved forever and ever on youtube for the rest of us. it’s also on my pvr, because you can never be too careful.

june: if i made a list of reasons to move to toronto, one weekend in june 2014 could quite possibly seal the deal, ’cause proximity to more rad SRB stuff than my heart can possibly handle would be amazing. like a flawless qtv performance on friday, and the first of two sold-out nights at jackson triggs winery. saturday the SRB served their namesake brew at the session craft beer fest in toronto, and picked up the award for best collaboration, then played a second sold-out night at jackson triggs. sunday, the SRB performed at the muchmusic video awards and shapeshifters won the award for best rock / alternative video.

july and august: the SRB dazzled thousands at festivals left, right, and center this summer, kicking things off on canada day in dartmouth, and ending in august with the SRB’s annual sell-out weekend at the kee. i loved the kee and freaked out about this year’s shows big time right here.

somewhere in the middle, between canada day and the kee, the SRB headlined day two of turf in toronto, got rained out at folkfest in regina, raised funds and awareness for neuro-traumatic injuries at rockin’ wheel in ontario, played the massive squamish valley music festival in vancouver – “tailor- made” for squamish, says the vancouver sun’s francois marchand. the SRB won the heart of every man, woman, and child in tumbler ridge, bc the very next day, with a quintessentially small-town, family friendly SRB show at tumbler’s golf and country club.

also . . . osheaga in montreal, festival d’ete in quebec city, and  bluesfest in ottawa. the bottom line – the SRB literally rocked coast to coast this summer and AS IF you needed more proof, here’s sam and dave (aka minotaur) at the gathering,the annual festival of food and music comedian shaun majumder organizes in his hometown of burlington, newfoundland every summer. missing this wicked tear with the b’ys is most definitely my biggest live music regret of the year.

What you missed… @samrobertsband on our #chefhike @thegatheringburlington #firefoodmusic #ome @omesweetome

A photo posted by ShaunMajumder (@shaunmajumder) on

september:  the sam roberts band’s annual killer weekend in cottage country. i love you, kee to bala.  possibly the most refreshing and inspiring sam-cation in the history of sam-cations forever and ever, amen. if you say the kee is on your bucket list, because so many people do,  MAKE THIS SUMMER YOUR YEAR already. seriously. did you hear me? because i just screamed that. i wrote lots about the kee here, and i’ve already booked off my labour day weekend 2015, because i don’t mess around. 

october: the SRB took their show on the road to europe in the fall, with a late september show at the garage in london before heading south to kick off their spanish tour in bilbao. according to my calculations (so, some tweets i google translated and youtube), spain loves the SRB. 

november: YAY! THE FIRST STRETCH OF THE OFFICIAL LO-FANTASY CANADIAN TOUR!  the SRB crossed most of the country in the winter ’cause they love us THAT much. from coast to coast canadians waited (almost) patiently for the tour announcement, and the SRB rewarded us handsomely with ten shows from bc to ontario before pausing the tour for a well-deserved christmas break. if you haven’t seen this tour yet or just need to see this tour again, don’t worry – lo-fantasy hits the road again in february. 

the reflector covered the SRB’s calgary show so perfectly i read their review like, four times. dwayne larson took these lovely photos of the SRB’s show in winnipeg for it’s a music thing, and this review by UBC’s phoenix newspaper covers everything you need to know about the SRB’s stop in kelowna, including the wardrobe choices of the SRB’s resident fashion plate / bass player extraordinaire james hall. i wrote about the SRB’s shows in edmonton and calgary here, and snagged this video of a rare and rad live performance of every part of me in calgary.   

february 2015: we’ll wrap up this best-of 2014 post with a weekend sure to make the best-of 2015 list, because it’s back-to-back shows in buffalo with july talk, so how could it not? i’m willing to bet my small (but completely normal) SRB shrine the two shows at the town ballroom on february 6th and 7th will start off next our next SRB retrospective.  you’ve got like, a month-ish left, buffalo. hang tight – you’re almost there.

happy new year, you guys! i hope your 2015 is full of everything you love the most.


– annie    

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how sam roberts writes a setlist

we talk a lot about SRB setlists here, mostly because i like them so much

this wine-stained setlist from the st. paul, minnesota turf club is pretty spectacular. tweeted friday night by sam himself, no less.

turf club_st. paul_november 2014

critical debate and analysis portion of the show: the resistance (ever elusive these days) only made the draft,  but the even-more-elusive mindflood closed the show. (also, lions of the kalahari).  what does it all mean, sam?! we’ll probably never know.

two things we do know:

1. this handwritten setlist, completed with spilled drinks and an iPhone shadow, is perfect, and inspired me to start a new tab i’ve very creatively called “setlists.” i’ll add as many as i can, and if you want to tweet me your SRB setlist pics, i’ll post those, too. then if we feel like scrolling setlists, we can scroll setlists. so what if i like setlists? don’t make this weird.

2. i asked sam about setlists. it was the first thing we talked about. it wasn’t weird at all.

what goes into the setlist?

that’ll be me. if it’s one of those days, where i wake up and it’s the first thing on my mind, i’ll do it right away because it takes about an hour. now the clock’s ticking, i know that sometime between – what time is it now? it’s 5:22, and we’re on at 9:15 – so, when we’re done, i’ll go write the setlist.

i want every show to be its own experience. i want that for the audience, and i think the band thrives off of it in a way. as much as there’s comfort and familiarity in playing a similar set from one night to the next, beyond two nights you feel like you’re stagnating a little bit. you don’t feel as motivated up on stage. often certain parts will stay. you can’t have a free for all, and it still has to build and flow in certain ways. so there’ll be certain parts of the set that will remain consistent from one night to the next, but then there will be a whole other section of three, four song  groups that change constantly, and what songs you put in those, that’s what keeps me constantly thinking.

who writes the setlist?

i do it myself. we have a catalogue of material. for this particular tour, we’ve culled the herd down to the songs that we’re rehearsed enough to play. we went back to montreal after our tour in spain, and said we’re going to be playing much longer sets now, and we’re going to be playing for people who have a deeper history with the band – let’s be able to go back to our first couple of records and pull out a song if we want to. unfortunately, they’re not stored in our short-term memory, so we have to practice and rehearse.

i think we rehearsed about eight or ten songs that are not in constant rotation, and we just tried to hammer them out. that doesn’t mean they’re going to be in the set, but if they need to be, then they can. every night of this tour, we’re trying to play at least one or two songs we don’t normally play.

does it get easier as there’s more songs to choose from, or more difficult? 

it’s not that it’s hard to pick those songs, it’s hard to make a setlist cohesive sounding. especially if your records tend to go off on a tangent from one to the next. lo-fantasy and collider are easily married in a setlist. there’s parts of love at the end of the world, and there are elements of chemical city, and even fewer elements of we were born in a flame to be able to make a set that feels like it’s not just pulling itself apart. we lean heavily on our latest record. we’ve always done that. we play a lot of lo-fantasy, and we use bits and pieces of other records to complete the setlist every night. 

speaking of setlists . . . to celebrate our new setlist category here at the bootleg saint, here’s an insane out-of-the-gate offering courtesy of cara in edmonton. ladies and gentlemen – the sam roberts band at austin city limits, in october 2009 – thank you, cara!

SRB - ACL - 2009


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