Just three weeks after Menomonie musician Sam Weaver released his first EP in January, he was back in his studio working on another one.
Now, the guitarist and songwriter is set to release “Vision #1,” his second EP, at a release show from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Raw Deal in Menomonie.
The new album is a quick turnaround, but Weaver already had the music written — he just needed a way to showcase it. And though they are only eight months apart, Weaver said there is a definite difference between the two albums.
“I like a lot of different music, and ended up with two EPs that stylistically are a little different,” he said. “That wasn’t really on purpose, it’s just a reflection of the songs I had written at that time.”
He describes “Vision #1” as a collection of four songs with a folk and jazz feel to them. Stylistically, he said they all fit together and all rely on a “strong, rhythmic foundation,” something vital to him in writing music. Rather than writing about himself, Weaver said his music is a reflection of what he sees happening in the world around him.
Weaver’s music drifts between blues, country and folk, inspired by his musical interests as well as his ability to play the acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass guitar and piano.
Now 26, he began playing guitar as a freshman in high school, where the only other guitarists he knew were “way better” than him, he said.
“I think that inspired me to want to be as good as the people I was in class with,” Weaver said. “As time went on I got to be OK at instruments with strings on them, so if I could get them, I bought them.”
He said he taught himself much of the instrumentation, dabbling with music as a hobby while working part time, most recently for Dunn County Solid Waste and the Silver Dollar Saloon in Menomonie.
About a year ago, he decided it was time to start taking his music seriously. It was a conversation with his wife, Becca, that prompted him to complete his first EP, “224 Main.”
“I think it was a long time coming,” Sam Weaver said. “I realized this was probably the best time of my life to try it, so I figured rather than waiting any longer, I should probably get started.”
He has since delivered, completing two self-produced EPs in eight months, thanks in part to his having already written much of the music. It didn’t take much convincing for him to do more.
“After I made the first EP, I learned a lot through that process and I had more songs written,” Weaver said. “I wanted to take what I learned from that process and put it into the second one.”
Though the two range in style, he thinks they primarily highlight his talent on guitar, which is the instrument he has played the longest.
“I think they reflect my guitar work the clearest, and both have guitar parts I’m pretty happy with,” he said. “They are showcasing me getting better as a writer and a producer as well.”
For his release show on Friday, Weaver said he plans to play around 25 songs, including two new originals not on either EP that he said he has yet to play in public. Additionally, he has a new Stevie Wonder cover and Beatles cover he’s looking forward to performing.
But if you miss it, this won’t be the last you hear of him. He’s got a few more things in the works and said the learning process is all part of the fun.
“I just want to get better at every part of what I do,” Weaver said. “I like learning about pretty much everything that goes into it — producing, writing, playing and learning instruments. It’s all interesting to me, so the more time I can spend doing that, the better.”
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