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Sam Pacetti Shines - Check out "Union"

October 29, 2006

Ten Years ago Sam Pacetti released "Solitary Travel." He won "Best New Artist" at Falcon Ridge. He was 22. Unfortunately, over the past decade he's been hanging more drywall than playing music. The other day while working on future playlists, I put on "Union," the new one with partner Gabriel Valla. Whoa. One song after another, I could not concentrate on my computer screen.

Sam's delivery is passionate, confident, and as attention grabbing as Mark O'Connor's playing. His own compositions are full of metaphor and imagery, and the songs chosen by other writers seem made for him.

The guitar leads provided by Gabriel Valla embellish Sam's delivery. Gabe won the Merlfest flatpicking prize - also about 10 years ago. He played some with the late Larry Rice, but otherwise he seems to have been in hiding too.

This CD simply will not let them disappear any longer.

Here'a line from Sam's "Augustine," a passionate rekindling of an old love:

"You are the moon that shines upon my dream in wakefulness,
I am the sorcerer that casts the spell to calm your seas.
And on your beach I run, and on your waves I play
I take flight with the gulls, I am changin' everyday"

They also chose Verlon Thompson's "Christians and Outlaws," a moving reflection on reincarnation, focusing on the poetry of the concept:

"Last time I came through here I was the summer wind,
I whispered on your wheat fields, and called in the cool rain.
I carried all your laughter, and your sweet old fiddle too,
Right up through the rafters, as I sang 'em to the harvest moon."

All of this verse comes alive when it flows through the music - please listen to these two songs - and the rest of the album for that matter. The more Folk Alley grows, the more CDs I receive that I can't get to. My gosh, I almost missed "Union." Don't you.

Jim Blum

Posted by Jim Blum at October 29, 2006 9:31 PM


I'll check out Sam Pacetti . Thanks for sharing the excitement. I am always interested in good git picking and vox delivery.

Posted by: Richard Schletty at November 6, 2006 8:29 AM

Sam is fabulous on the guitar! The first time I saw him play was about 10 years ago! He plays fairly regularly at the Milltop in St. Augustine, Florida. If you get a chance you should not miss the opportunity to see him. The last time I was there he had partnered with Gabriel. The "concert" was great. My wife and I were swept away by their music. Definitely check out his CD's.

Posted by: Ted Tuchak at November 8, 2006 8:43 PM

Wow!! I tuned into Folk Alley yesterday for the first time in a month and was taken with a song of Sam's I heard. Thinking it had been a while since I rewarded myself, I purchased the new album on Amazon. How excited I am to receive this prize after now reading your story, Jim. Aren't happenstances of life the neatest thing?!!!! Happy Thanksgiving to all and hooray for great music!!

Posted by: David Ewing at November 24, 2006 7:46 AM

After reading this blog and hearing some of the songs played, I had to get this CD. WOW! Striking poetic and prophetic lyrics and delightful acoustic music…beautiful.


Posted by: Shannon McDaniel at February 18, 2007 4:46 PM

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