Sam Kogon Debuts Video For “Barbed Wire”
Singer/songwriter Sam Kogon has shared a new video/single entitled “Barbed Wire.” The track is off his self-titled EP, which was produced by John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr, Kurt Vile, Alvvays, Waxahatchee), and recorded at at Stewart Lerman’s Hobo Sound Studios in Weehawken, NJ. His partnership with Agnello came about in a somewhat roundabout way. After coming off three self-booked US/Canadian tours, Kogon was cast as a featured extra in Martin Scorsese’s crime epic The Irishman as a backing musician for Jerry Vale, played in the film by Steven van Zandt. He hit it off with music supervisor Stewart Lerman and, after sending some demos along, received a recommendation for working with Agnello. The sessions were assisted by Jeremy Delaney and James Frazee. The songs were mastered by Steve Fallone (Arcade Fire, Angel Olsen, Big Theif).
Sam Kogon on “Wire:”
Quote from Sam Kogon: “It was always a dream of mine to shoot a music video in my family’s pawn shop ‘Sam’s Swap Shop’ in uptown Kingston, NY the place I was named after. My grandpa Lonnie gave me my first guitar from the store so naturally I wanted the story to focus around a guitar, in this case it’s a 1963 Danelectro Convertible that came from Sam’s (a dream guitar of mine). The guitar represents lost love, regret, but also a fresh start. The store closed soon after filming and I still can’t watch the video without crying, but my grandpa always said “Tell it like it is” and I think we did that. Bravo to Jeff Mertz for capturing the legend of Sam’s and to my dad who blew me away with his acting.
Quote from director Jeff Mertz: “Sam and I came up with the concept sort of organically. We knew pretty early on we wanted to shoot inside the Kogon family pawn shop, especially as it was slated to close for good within the year. As we were figuring out exactly what the story would be, I was struck by the persistence of Sam’s name through generations of his family – every family member who came to run the shop took on the mantle of ‘Sam’. It felt like there was this sort of mythos to the name, so there’s all these easter eggs throughout the video – the portraits on the shop walls, the gravestone, the last shopkeeper (played by Debbie ‘Sam’ Kogon) are all ‘Sams’. The shop itself was also charged with nostalgia, so the story kind of naturally evolved into being about an older Sam Kogon (played by Lou, Sam’s dad) who’s reflecting on missed opportunities and regret, but is ultimately given a second chance, which he proudly takes. I actually ended up moving to Kingston, NY, where the video was shot, a few years later, and it’s a little surreal to witness the rabid gentrification that ultimately supplanted Sam’s Swap Shop with a bland art gallery, but I’m grateful to have captured a small slice of local history while it was around. The video itself feels like a sort of second chance for the shop and the myth of ‘Sam Kogon,’ wherever in time we may find them.”
1. Barbed Wire
2. Find Out
3. All I Wanna Do
4. City Kids
Order Sam Kogon by Sam Kogon HERE
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