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Sam Roberts in Concert

Sam Roberts Band.
Sam Roberts Band.

Whether playing aggressive rock or hauntingly quiet folk, Montreal musician Sam Roberts is likely to inject social commentary into his songwriting. His eclectic mix of rock, pop and folk has won him a growing fan base across North America. Roberts and his band performed live in concert Friday, from Philadelphia's World Cafe Live stage.

Roberts began his musical journey on the violin at age 4. He made the switch to guitar in his early 20s and then began the process of putting together a successful band. Finally, in 2002, Roberts found the break he'd been seeking: His group's six-song EP, The Inhuman Condition, produced a couple of hits in Canada and led Roberts to an international recording deal with Universal Music. The group's first full-length album, We Were Born on a Flame, found critical and commercial success in Canada, as well as sleeper success in the U.S.

Once again flanked by his band, Roberts just released a second full-length album, Chemical City. Recorded in a refurbished Australian church, the disc benefits from the unusual atmosphere -- and may well give Roberts the international recognition he deserves.

Copyright 2006 XPN