Sam Baardman is a singer-songwriter and visual artist living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Coaxing surprising images out of common situations, Sam’s songs resonate with fans who appreciate his lyrical depth and superb, singable melodies. It’s no surprise that the Winnipeg Free Press described him as “one of the city’s strongest and most literate songwriters.” Sam has played the stages of some of Canada’s most notable festivals, including the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Stan Rogers Festival, Summerfolk, and many others. Sam was the recipient of the 2002 Prairie Music Award for Industry Builder of the Year. His second album, The Rookery, was nominated for Outstanding Roots Album at the 2000 Prairie Music Awards. His third album, "Marsh Radio" was released September, 2022.
After the release of last year’s well-received comeback album, Marsh Radio, Sam is back with his fourth full-length recording, Athabasca.
ATHABASCA is a collaboration with Global Water Futures (GWF), a program that supports scientists who are studying the effects of climate change on water systems. GWF invited Sam to spend two weeks last fall at the Coldwater Laboratory in the Canadian Rockies as well as northern Saskatchewan to speak with scientists about their climate-related work. Sam traveled with GWF scientists to their observatories atop mountains, deep inside alpine forests, up on a glacier, and onto the northern prairie.
The result of this science-art collaboration is Athabasca, a collection of environmental songs that was released April 22nd, Earth Day, at the West End Cultural Centre in Winnipeg. The songs are thoughtful, poetic, sometimes biting commentary on the environmental crisis. There are celebratory songs about the beauty of nature, but also songs that speak to our bewilderment, hurt, and anger at the dilemma we find ourselves in. The album features everything from gorgeous acoustic songs to hard grinding folk rock, all of which showcase Sam’s stellar lyrical craft and solid, memorable music.