“Joe Sampson creates a lot with a little. Maybe it was his family roots of a barbershop quartet that lead to the minimalism of his craft. Maybe it was his collaborations with Nathaniel Rateliff and Esme Patterson, or maybe it’s just because he doesn’t need to add any bells or whistles to his songs. The Denver songwriter, who took home Songwriter of the Year from Westword in 2008 and was hailed as the rarely seen and mythical musical unicorn by Hey Reverb, has just released his stark, EP Songs of Delay — a stunning 13-minute journey straight into the heart of superb songwriting and a simple, austere but elegant presentation of those songs.
The delicate “Songbird” which kicks off the EP features vocal accompaniment by Rateliff, but instead of Rateliff’s over-the-top “S.O.B” vocal work, the song instead features the head of the Night Sweats in one of his most demure tones. The rest of the suite follows the same path — creating heaping amounts of beauty with the most limited ingredients; a few chords and some well-penned lyrics.”