“Just a Tree” Samuel Herb’s Single Release Party with Kalsey Kulyk at The Basement Nashville January 31st

Just a Tree” (co-written by Herb, Drea Gordon, Elyssa Yulo and produced by Adam Sickler) is the first of three singles coming out this year and all of the songs will plant trees with the streams. “I am planting a tree for every 1,000 streams that this song gets for so many reasons,” Herb explains. “First and foremost, it helps the planet. Climate change is undeniable, but I’ve always believed that music can heal the world and this is my way of doing so. It was perfect, since the song is called Just a Tree!

Samuel Herb is an Americana singer/songwriter originally from Jacksonville, FL. Since making the move to artist in 2018, Herb has shared the stage with Rodney Atkins, Jamie Lin Wilson, Son Little, Pokey LaFarge, Amythyst Kiah, Hush Kids, Tyler Hilton, Erin Rae, Shawn James and many more. In such a short time, he has played in over 23 states, tallying up hundreds of shows in the past two years. Herb’s love of storytelling brings audiences into his mind, while his “in your face sound” shows off his personality. His love of country music, combined with the sounds of Motown and even Disney music, are apparent when listening to his stories.

For new fans, which Americana albums would you recommend they listen to for the music that inspires your songwriting?

For new fans, I’d recommend listening to Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Anderson East, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Leon Bridges — those are the most influential artists for my music. The combination of lyric plus sound captivates me and I pull from all of them to create my sound.

What song did you enter for the American Songwriter Magazine’s Lyric Contest? How did being part of the Contest lead you to Nashville?

The song I entered to the American Songwriter Lyric Contest was called “All the Shots”. It was a simple country-love song that said “You miss all the shots that you don’t take” when it comes to making the first move at a bar with a girl. Something I have never done in my life but I guess I was able to write about it! I finished second in the contest out of thousands of submissions and it showed me that I could do it. I always felt like I was on the right track, but seeing my name in the only publication dedicated to songwriting was a huge deal. It gave me the last push of confidence I needed to move to Nashville.

How did your debut single “Dirty” showcase the Americana sound?

Americana to me is “The World’s Greatest Garbage Disposal”; the genre takes the best things from every genre and combines them. Americana is more of a feeling than a sound; when “Dirty.” comes on, there’s no other place to put it. It’s a country song without country lyrics, it sounds like Motown, but doesn’t feel like soul. Americana music is the only genre that doesn’t have a box.

Both your debut single and “Someone Else’s Dreams”, your second release, debuted in the Top 10 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart. After your second single you began writing/performing full-time. What inspires your music?

I quit my job after writing my second single “Someone Else’s Dream” so I guess you could say that my music is inspired by the life I want. I write about how I’d like to feel about someone or how I want to live. I love challenging myself to write the most complicated song using the simplest of words. I try to write songs to express what I can’t say, but I can sing.

If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now?

I went to school for journalism. I have a passion for sports, so I would most likely be miserable doing that somewhere! I refuse to miserable so I am a musician. I have no money, but the bank of my soul is VERY full.

You said in one of your 2019 recap posts that last year was one of the best of your life. How has your life changed since moving from Jacksonville to Nashville?

Just looking at the Nashville skyline makes me happy. I love knowing that every single day I get closer to living my dream. I love where I am from because it made me who I am, but my dreams cannot become reality there. 2019 showed me that I have made REAL progress towards achieving what I set out to do when I moved to Nashville. I love the community that I have built in Nashville as well; we understand each other and we understand each others’ purpose. It is tough for people in Jacksonville to understand the journey of trying to survive the music world.

Was your latest song, “Just a Tree”, written in response to the Australian fires?

Just a Tree” was absolutely NOT written in response to a fire; it was inspired by a girl (like most of my songs) not texting me back. It felt like in my world she was the “universe” and in hers I was “just a tree”. While I may not have ACTUALLY felt that way about her, I did in that moment and I was able to channel that feeling to write an entire song with Drea Gordon and Elysse Yulo. I made the decision to plant trees after the fires in the Amazon. I love trees and climate change is a topic that I feel passionate about; I have no resources to help with the exception of my music. I am using my platform to make a difference and if people love the song in the process then that is also a win!

You have teamed with the nonprofit organization One Tree Planted to help with global reforestation. 1 tree will be planted for every 1,000 streams of your new song. Besides streaming the song, how else can fans help? Did see that a tree will be planted for each purchase of the song’s new t-shirt. Can these be ordered online?

YES! 1k streams= 1 Tree planted! One Tree Planted is an amazing organization and I am excited to start planting trees! So far between tickets to my release show and t-shirts we have planted just over 100 trees.

My t-shirts are available online, but honestly just shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll tell ya the best way to order your shirt — let’s be friends!

Your release show on January 31 at The Basement Nashville is with Kalsey Kulyk. What do you two have planned that night for fans (a tree will be planted by One Tree Planted for each ticket sold)?

Every ticket sold will plant one tree! I am super excited to headline The Basement. It is an amazing venue with a great vibe and sound. I am very grateful that Kalsey Kulyk said yes to playing a few songs before me. She is an unbelievable artist that has an incredible success in her very near future. We don’t have anything planned other than putting on an amazing show that will hopefully give people a chance to know who we are as artists.

What is the backstory to “Needle Stack”, a song you previewed on Instagram?

Needle Stack” is a song that I wrote with Nate Fredrick and Jeremy Parsons. I was at Winner’s Bar and Grill for a Whiskey Jam and someone said “finding love is like finding a needle in a haystack” and I was like “not really, it is more like finding a piece of hay in a needle stack because of all the hurt you gotta go through to get there!” We had a good laugh and I sat down and wrote this song. Hint hint, you may see that song as a single some time this year!

Also noticed the blue tick by your name — how cool is it to have an Instagram verified account?

It is really strange to see that Blue Check mark next to my name. It is funny how something like that means so much yet nothing at all. It is really nice that it shows the hard work is starting to payoff!

Where will you be headed on tour this year?

EVERYWHERE! Well at least that would be ideal! This year I would love to be picked up as an opener on a tour. Last year I did 74 dates in 23 different states and I hope I can continue that this year! Stay tuned for show announcements, they are coming!

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