Sam Densmore

Oregon folk rocker Sam Densmore is coming back to Fairbanks, this time with a new single and EP with plenty of good-time attitude.

Densmore released “Damn the Consequences” from Black Velvet Unicorn in March. It’s a return to Densmore’s rock roots, telling listeners to seize the day and “damn my body, you only live once.” 

He filmed a video for the song, which, among other things features a naked man on a scooter (strategically blurred) and people rocking out in a karaoke bar, which is on YouTube. Listeners can also stream it on Spotify, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and a few other places online. A career musician with a couple of decades in the business, Densmore is intimately familiar with the pros and cons of the industry.

Spotify “is an easy platform for people to approach, so that’s good,” he said. “You might have 10,000 spins or I got on a couple of playlists for a couple of weeks, that spreads over into your back catalogue and people listen more widely.

“There’s so many different ways to promote yourself on the internet, it’s kind of hard to put a finger on what’s really working,” Densmore said.

Black Velvet Unicorn is his first release since his 2017 full-length album, “Open Marriage,” a quieter, more introspective work. That album garnered rave reviews in the Northwest and Densmore has spent much of the last two years on the road, touring throughout the United States and Europe. He was in Anchorage earlier this week and will perform Friday and Saturday at Howling Dog Saloon and Boatel, opening for the Matt Lewis Band. 

As a songwriter, Densmore said he’s more influenced by his life experiences than any particular songwriter, although he would love to jam with Paul McCartney. The Beatles were a huge influence on his early songwriting, he said, but as he’s gotten older, his horizons have broadened. Today, Densmore listens to a lot of alternative and indie bands, distilling those vibes into his craft.

In Fairbanks, Densmore will perform solo, but he also tours as a duo with keyboardist Paul Perasa and with a full band.

“I’ll be playing a bunch of new songs,” he said. “It’s me, but a little different songwriting — less Americana, more pop rock. I like to write in a lot of different styles. I just get bored and want to shift it up.”

Although Densmore has been to Alaska several times, all between March and September, he specifically wanted to be here for solstice this year and “I thought it would be a fun psychedelic experience.” 

It’s his seventh tour in Alaska and he’s spending the time just hanging out, enjoying nature and local sights. 

“I don’t really have any huge message,” he said. “Come to my show, dig it. Buy my CDs and T-shirts — they have unicorns that glow in the dark.”

Contact staff writer Julie Stricker at 459-7532.

If You Go

What: Sam Densmore

When: Friday and Saturday at The Boatel, 3368 Riverside Drive, opening for Matt Lewis; performing later Friday at Howling Dog Saloon, 2160 Old Steese Highway North.