Sam Barber: a new country artist

Sam Barber holds a live concert at a small venue in Denver, Colorado.
Sam Barber holds a live concert at a small venue in Denver, Colorado.
Elizabeth Jarnot


Sam Barber performs live while playing his guitar to accompany his music. (Elizabeth Jarnot)


Sam Barber is the next young and upcoming hot country artist from Frohna, Missouri. He started singing professionally at 19 years old, just two years ago. He is best known for his first hit song, “Straight and Narrow,” which he wrote at 16 and released in 2023, when he was 19. His music is considered country rock folk alternative, comparable to Tyler Childers and Wyatt Flores.

Sam didn’t get into music until he was 16 years old and found a love for it after learning to play his great-grandfather’s old guitar. He began his music career by singing covers of Zach Bryan and other country artists and then began to try and write his own music. His first time performing in front of a crowd was at a winery a few miles from his house in small-town Missouri. When asked why he first picked up the guitar, he told Billboard:

When I was 15 or 16, I just thought it’d be cool to learn it. I never actually met him, but from stories I heard and pictures I’ve seen, he used to play in bars and stuff.

— Sam Barber

In 2021, he released his first song, “Run Away High” followed by “Ramblin Man” and “As Time Passes” in 2022. His songs didn’t catch fire until he released “Straight and Narrow,” which immediately earned him his first Billboard chart entry at number 24 and number 38 on the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart in April. The song also hit number 41 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The song currently has almost 160 million listens on Spotify. 

“Straight and Narrow” was released on his eight-song EP, Million Eyes, released through Lockeland Springs with Atlantic Records. At the beginning of his career, Sam had about 200,000 Spotify listeners, which rapidly increased to almost five million after the release of Million Eyes. His EP includes a cover of U.K duo Dani and Lizzy’s “Dancing in the Sky,” which quickly rose to fame. The original song was written as a hip-hop R&B song, but Sam’s cover brings out the raw emotion in the song.

All of Sam’s songs are self-written and most of them he began writing in high school and finished later in his career. When asked if Sam prefers to write his own music, he said:

I really enjoy writing by myself. I think the songs come out much better. I think it’s hard to make a really emotional song when it’s two or three brains going into one song. I think it creates more of a bland song; it’s hard to be on the same emotional page as someone at the same time like that.

— Sam Barber

Elizabeth Jarnot and her sister Nina Jarnot spend the night out listening to a live concert. (Elizabeth Jarnot)

Sam has two more singles he released this year, “S.O.B” and his newest release “Streetlight,” both with over five million listens on Spotify. Sam’s personal favorite song he’s released is “Save Me,” which he also started in high school and finished for the EP. Another standout song to check out is “All That I Have,” which fans quickly connected with and loved due to the raw emotion found in the song.

Elizabeth Jarnot and Kinzie Cusipag visit Colorado to see Sam Barber’s live performace. (Elizabeth Jarnot)

This past weekend I had the opportunity to see Sam Barber live in concert at a small venue in Denver, Colorado. The experience was one in a million, and I could feel the energy and love that Sam’s fans feel for him.

Sam Barber is on the rise and his name continues to grow in the music industry. If country-folk music is something you enjoy, make sure to add Sam Barber to your playlist.

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About the Contributor
Elizabeth Jarnot
Elizabeth Jarnot, Journalist
Grade: Senior Favorite Holiday: Christmas Car Name: Scarlett Favorite Drink Place: Starbucks and Dunkin Favorite Food: Cream cheese