Since the astronomical rise of Zach Bryan, many independent country listeners have wondered who the next Zach Bryan is going to be. While some may think it’s going to be Charles Wesley Godwin, Flatland Cavalry, or Colby Acuff, Sam Barber very well might be the next big thing in independent country.
Hailing from Southeastern Missouri, Sam Barber grew up primarily playing sports. In fact, Barber didn’t pick up a guitar until he was 16. He quickly realized that he had a gift for music, story-telling through his writing, and connecting with an audience.
I want to deliver songs that make people feel them in their soul. Above all I want to stay true to my faith, the man I truly am, and the type of music I want to make without boundaries or conforming.
Barber posted his first TikTok on March 14, 2021. Posting an original song, Hurricane, he garnered a moderate 14,500 views and just over 450 likes. He began regularly posting a variety of original songs mixed with covers from a wide array of artists from Luke Combs and Koe Wetzel to The Band and John Mayer.
He received his first taste of virality that July with his cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man. The cover has garnered 390,000 views and over 50,000 likes. Later on in November, his cover of “Dancing in the Sky” received over 1.2M views and 146,000 likes. Barber never looked back, frequently posting a mix of covers and originals over the past two years.
His success on TikTok lead to the release of five original songs available for streaming. His first was the 2021 release, Run Away High. Other tracks such as As Time Passes, Ramblin Man, and Drowning have all done fairly well.
Over the past few weeks, Barber has seen his 2022 release, Straight and Narrow, absolutely skyrocket in popularity on TikTok. At the time of writing this, it has been used in 32,000 separate videos. To put this number in perspective, the song’s sound had 27,000 uses just three days before writing this article. This is mostly due to his April 1st posting of the song going viral, which currently has over 4.4M views and 575,000 likes. Again, for perspective, these numbers went up over 1.4M and nearly 60,000 respectively in the same three days. Straight and Narrow is seeing Something in the Orange-like numbers.
It’s easy to see why Barber has connected with many fans. His acoustic, low-fi sound feels extremely similar to early Tyler Childers and Zach Bryan. His vocals also feel at home with them, as well. There’s a certain authenticity in both Barber’s lyrics and the delivery of said lyrics that is felt throughout each song of his.
Barber is currently sitting at over 945,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, which is absolutely incredible for an independent artist such as himself. This number is set to only grow due to the sheer numbers Straight and Narrow is putting up on TikTok currently.
Listen to Straight and Narrow here: