Sam Riggs may be a transplant to Austin, Texas but with this band, the Night People, the singer/songwriter creates a dusty, muscular racket that's unmistakably Red Dirt Country. Riggs demonstrates a slight inclination for big, poppy anthems -- a sound that reflects his early love of Garth Brooks -- that separate him from the rest of the Red Dirt artists, but his sensibility remains anchored in the defiant spirit of Texas.
A native of central Florida, Riggs moved to Austin at the age of 19 in 2007. Working manual labor, he'd also perform at local cafes and bars, workshopping his songs. In 2010, he released his debut EP, Hairpin Trigger Heart, which earned some local airplay on Austin's local KVET station. Another EP called Lighthouse followed in 2012, and he then formed the supporting band the Night People, releasing the full-length Outrun the Sun in 2013. Over the next few years, steady work helped grow his audience, setting the stage for the release of his second album, Breathless, in February 2016. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine