The pandemic caused most artists to cancel their big touring plans for 2020, but the release of vaccines and new safety protocols allowed many to return to the road in 2021. That was the case for Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Sam Weber, who accomplished some big goals in the past year.

He put the finishing touches on his new album Get Free, which is set for release on Feb. 4.  It's a deeply personal project that grew out of the isolating early days of the pandemic. The record, which he created with the talents of friend Danny Austin-Manning and partner Mallory Hauser, supplied Weber with a means of much-needed creative escapism from a time of widespread uncertainty and fear. You can hear his new single "Already Know," which mixes vulnerability with a sense of defiance, below.

We caught up with Sam to chat about the most memorable aspects of his past year and what's to come in 2022.

What was your favorite moment(s) from 2021?

"My favourite moment from 2021 was supporting Bahamas for his US tour. Everyone in my band grew up listening to his music so having the opportunity to play our music in front of his set for 20 some shows was incredible. We were all the more thrilled when he asked us to sit in on his set as well."

What are you thankful for in 2021?
"I am thankful for my partner, my health, my family. I’m so grateful to get to play music every day and have lots to look forward to. Playing for other people is a gift in itself, but having a personal relationship with playing music just for me is a joyful thing that I don’t take for granted."
What are you looking forward to in 2022?
"In 2022 I’m eager to get back out and play shows for people, visit new places and places we’ve been. Before we did our dates this fall I’d sort of forgotten what it feels like to perform on stage, so since doing it recently I’m all the more eager to get back into that flow."

What are your holiday traditions? Do you have any new ones this year/recently?"
"Apart from seeing family, I don’t have many holiday traditions. On Vancouver Island where I’m from, there’s this world renowned garden called the Butchart Gardens. For the winter they do amazing light displays of the twelve days of Christmas (turtle doves, french hens, etc.) in the evenings leading up to Christmas. I like to go see those when I’m home. If we’re with my partner’s family in San Diego, we go to this Grinch themed Tiki Bar called False Idol and it rocks."

Top 10 Bluegrass Albums of 2021