Chronicle Exclusive: Singer-songwriter has fans choose the music

By on April 25, 2007

Sam Shaber does not just perform national tours for her fans; she lets them pick the songs for her latest album, too.

Shaber, a singer-songwriter originally from New York City, plays music for anyone that wants to listen. Since 1997, when her first album “In the Bunker” was released, Shaber has been playing live shows across the country, building her a devoted fan base. In return, she has been devoted to her fans.

“Music is best when it’s shared, and I wanted to build a community of people around my music, so hopefully [playing live shows] is the best way to do that,” she said.

Shaber will be playing one of her infamous shows at The Space in Hamden on Sunday at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Shaber, who’s been compared to Alanis Morissette and Joni Mitchell, describes her music as “raw pop.”

“I tour solo with my acoustic guitar, but home in L.A., I play with a full rock band,” Shaber said. “So somewhere in between the grit of acoustic shows and the punch of electric shows, I found ‘raw pop.'”

Though some of Shaber’s songs are emotional and deep, her interactions with her audiences during her live shows are known to be hilarious. Her concerts are known to have some audience members laughing hysterically one second and crying the next.

“I think the humor in between the songs is unique,” Shaber said. “Doing so many intimate solo shows has helped me develop my communication to the audience..What can I say? I’m funny.”

Shaber’s latest album, “In My Bones (Live in Chicago),” was recorded Feb. 18, 2006. Each previously unreleased track on the album was chosen by fans via e-mail requests (Shaber also has fans e-mail her song requests before concerts).

“I was most surprised by the top requested song which is called ‘Cryin’ Shame,’ a goofy thing I wrote at 4 a.m. one night with a Scottish accent,” Shaber said.

There are also some tracks on the new album of Shaber merely chatting on topics from high school crushes to “Grey’s Anatomy.” Other should-be-mentioned tracks are “Jersey to O.C.” and the title track “In My Bones,” which can be purchased at and, or also on iTunes. The album is not in stores.


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