Sam Outlaw might not spend a lot of time on the streets of Nashville, but his "SoCal country" sound seems to be right at home in Music City. The Los Angeles native recently spoke to The Boot recently about how a visit to Nashville ups the songwriting ante, and about the success of his newest album, Tenderheart

"You get to a town where everyone can do what you do, but do it better, and there is so much more of it, so I think, for someone like me, who is excited by challenge and diversity, Nashville is the place to be," Outlaw says during a recent visit to Nashville. "A lot of the music that we either grew up listening to or are listening to now was created here. Especially if you care about country music like I do, Nashville is still the place."

Tenderheart was Outlaw's first foray into producing his own music -- a daunting feat considering that his first album, Angeleno, was produced by the legendary Ry Cooder. Outlaw admits that he was afraid it was a bar he wouldn't be able to reach on his own.

"I was a little nervous about producing myself, but we made the record, [and], amazingly, people like it; in fact, it's really kind of been even more successful than the first one," Outlaw says. "That means that I get to tour around and play my songs for clapping, and sometimes money!"

And maybe more than that: In 2017, Outlaw was an Emerging Artist of the Year nominee at the 2017 Americana Music Awards, and he's now nominated for AmericanaUK’s International Song of the Year honor.

"I feel very fortunate that folks dig the record, and it's been so fun playing it live," Outlaw says. "Once you tour on one record for awhile, you're anxious to play the new stuff."

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