years

Sugar Hill Years: Americana Master Compilations from Doc Watson & Ricky Skaggs

Doc Watson- for the Grateful Web

Sugar Hill is set to release two new titles as part of their Americana Master Series.  Ricky Skaggs: Best of the Sugar Hill Years and Doc Watson: Best of the Sugar Hill Years will both hit the streets on July 8th, 2008.  Researched and compiled from each artist's body of work on the label, these tracks were culled from radio chart toppers, fan mail, downloads, and songs and tunes that are recurrent favorites at live performances.

Doc Watson
Doc Watson has been an iconic influence on every acoustic guitar player that has come in his wake. A recipient of the National Heritage Award and the National Medal of Arts, Watson's contribution to the American folk idiom is immeasurable. For the Americana Master Series, Watson's Sugar Hill releases - which span over 40 years from 1960 through 2006 - were meticulously combed for the best representation of both the virtuosity that embodies his work, as well as its breadth.

From bluegrass selections that exemplify the flat-picking that has become Watson's calling card to gospel and traditional tunes featuring his soulful vocals, the collection draws upon solo work as well as duets with son Merle and collaborations with Bryan Sutton and Marty Stuart. Also included are tunes featuring the guitarist on banjo and slide guitar, demonstrating the icon's virtuosity and deep connection to Appalachian roots music.

Ricky Skaggs
By the time Ricky Skaggs launched his solo career on Sugar Hill in 1979, he'd already amassed a resume that most retirees would envy. He'd been a member of Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys and the legendary Country Gentlemen. He'd made vital recordings with his friend and collaborator Keith Whitley. He'd been in Emmylou Harris's Hot Band, and he'd been part of the pioneering neo-bluegrass band Boone Creek, whose album One Way Track had in fact been Sugar Hill's first release as a label.

For all he did to bring roots to country, this collection is basted in bluegrass, a hand-picked anthology of the hand-picked music of Skaggs in his early years. Classics like "I'll Stay Around" and "Little Cabin Home On The Hill" from Sweet Temptation show an artist who had internalized the sound and tone of the founding fathers, while Tony Rice's guitar solos introduce overtones of innovation.  With the string of Grammy-winning.

After 20 Years The Samples Call it Quits

photos by Tim Hurley- for the Grateful Web

The rough road of the music industry has taken its toll on yet another talented rock band.  After touring for over 20 years and releasing over 20 albums, The Samples have decided to officially part ways.  Though the group has gone through many lineup changes since forming in Boulder, Colorado in 1987, primary songwriter/singer/guitarist Sean Kelly had continued to perform and release albums under The Samples moniker.

The band gained popularity early on by blending elements of breezy pop, reggae, and jam-rock.  They generated mass appeal as one of the mainstays on the early H.O.R.D.E. festival tours that also included emerging acts like Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, Phish, All Good, and more.  Their well-received albums "No Room" and "Last Drag" saw heavy rotation through college radio stations during the mid-90s, and their live concerts were always full of incredible energy.

Determined to keep the band alive, Kelly carried on the Samples name after original members Jeep MacNichol, Al Laughlin, and Andy Sheldon left the group to pursue other interests.  Though their popularity waned over the last the few years, many die-hard fans still packed venues to hear their favorite tunes.

The following is a message from Sean Kelly's MySpace page describing his love for the band and ultimately his decision to move on:

I want start by saying that I may be able to write songs and play a guitar but my spelling and grammar has never been my best asset. I am usually pretty good however in getting my point across none the less. So if you notice some words out of place go easy on me. I am writing this email on a beautiful spring Vermont night way up on the 45th parallel. Lake Champlain is outside sleeping and I have a few updates regarding The Samples.

The long and winding road for The Samples has ended. Outside of possibly playing a few rumored dates with the original line up next fall, The Samples will be no longer. I have also canceled any and all upcoming Samples dates. I sincerely apologize for the recent cancellations, I have only canceled two shows in 22 years and I always do my best to prevent this anyway possible.

From all the beautiful landscapes across America, to the bus engine roaring under my bed, it's been a long and beautiful ride with endless and difficult ups and downs that I would not trade for anything. I put my heart and soul into every show, and on every record. I hope that it translated. I feel a bit like Forest Gump when he stopped running, turned around and said "I think I am going to go home now". I have been such a driving force in The Samples that I never stopped to notice how I have neglected many aspects of myself and many of the other things that used to really make me happy.

Such a beautiful thing so unprotected, endangered, rare and one of a kind!

I welcome change, perseverance and any ideas to incorporate into my solo career. I am very much exited to pursue many different and new challenges.

Scott Kempner Finishes First Solo Album in 16 Years

Scott Kempner- for the Grateful Web

This is a rock 'n 'roll album . . . if that means anything to anyone anymore," says Scott Kempner of his forthcoming album Saving Grace (00:02:59 Records, street date June 10, 2008). "It sure as hell means something to me !" Kempner's rock 'n' roll career dates back 30 years to his stint as co-founder of The Dictators (when he was known as "Top 10") and later the Del-Lords, who in turn inspired the comeback of Dion, with whom Kempner recorded as the Little Kings. That's a lot to look back on — and Kempner can reminisce with the best of 'em — but he is squarely focused on the present and the future.
 
"This album is the first record in my career that I feel 100% about," says the South Bronx native, who was born the year Elvis Presley recorded his first Sun Records single. "It's who I am, for better or worse." The album, his first solo work since 1992's Tenement Angels (which featured Springfield, Mo.'s mighty Skeletons), includes no other guitarists — Kempner plays all parts. However, he did surround himself with an array of kindred musicians: Del-Lords drummer Frank Funaro, Smithereens bassist Mike Mesaros, Chris and Mike Russo, Chris Amplo, and last but not least Dion, with whom he sings "Heartbeat of Time." Recorded mainly at Coyote Studios in Brooklyn's Williamsburg district, Saving Grace was co-produced by Kempner and Mike Caiati.
 
For two tracks — "Heartbeat of Time" and "Here Come My Love" — Kempner headed to Nashville's Java Jive to work with producer and friend Ed Pettersen (Song of America ) and Bob Olhsson (former Motown engineer). These sessions featured Motown and Nashville session stalwarts Bob Babbitt, bass, and Ed Greene, drums. Kempner ended up with three albums' worth of material, the best of which he selected for Saving Grace .
 
The road to Saving Grace was a rough one. While making the record, Kempner went through a terrible breakup and a life-changing long-term illness. Now, clarity, health and happiness have been restored. Kempner has a band he's pleased with. And he's headed to the road this summer and fall.
 
A few other reasons to be cheerful found Kempner along the way. He's the subject of a documentary film now in progress; The Del-Lords' EMI/Enigma albums are soon to be reissued on the American Beat label; and the legendary Norton Records label is about to release Every Day Is Saturday — an anthology of The Dictators' unreleased odds and sods.
 
"Rock 'n' roll is a living history and I feel connected to this music," says Kempner, "I feel connected to Robert Johnson and Woody Guthrie and Elvis Presley, to the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Otis and Aretha, to the Stooges and Bruce Springsteen. I have staked out a claim to the music's past, present and future. This is where I find my voice, my own expression, my little shout-out to the world.
 
"Hopefully the ghosts of all my heroes will come dancing right in your living room when you hear the new record. American guitar music. Rock 'n' roll. Don't tread on me!"

Toubab New Years Run & Ucoming Winter Dates

- for the Grateful Web

Toubabe Crewe is capping 2007 in style, with a holiday run that takes us from New York's Bowery Ballroom (12/27) and Philadelphia's World Cafe Live (12/28) to our hometown of Asheville for two nights at the Orange Peel (12/30-31). We're happy to have some good friends with us for these shows - Golem will join us in NYC and Philly, and The Lee Boys and Snake Oil Medicine Show will join us in Asheville. We're also thrilled to announce that Umar Bin Hassan of the legendary group The Last Poets will be joining us on both nights in Asheville for what are sure to be some fun collaborations.

Their winter tour continues with performances at the traveling Jam Cruise festival, as well as a run of new dates in the Southeast and Midwest.

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Hot Buttered Rum Celebrates New Years on the Front Range

photos by Michael Podrid- for the Grateful Web

In the Fall of 2006, itching to release their first live album, Hot Buttered Rum announced that it would be recording a handful of shows for official release.  Live in the Northeast (released May 2007) beautifully reveals the true core of live Butter: music that is forceful without being flashy, serious without being stuffy, intricate without being inaccessible, and diverse without being distracting.  The performances were professionally multi-tracked and later carefully mixed by Butter's long-time sound engineer, Josh Osmond. The result is striking, presenting the unique energy and improvisational spirit of a Hot Buttered Rum live performance in studio-quality sound.

Often described as a rock band playing bluegrass instruments, no prior Butter recording has so perfectly displayed the band's bolder and heavier side.  Their full sound permeates Live in the Northeast — from the reggae-tinged "Return Someday" and psychedelica of "Desert Rat" through definitive covers of the Grateful Dead's "Cumberland Blues" and Leo Sayer's "Feel Like Dancin'" — winding the listener through a robust and intense set of acoustic rock.

Hailing from the High Sierra of California, the guys of Hot Buttered Rum grew up on the trails, in the mountains, and on the slopes.  Their ties with nature have only grown and as a group, the band has dedicated much time and energy to reducing their carbon footprint and promoting alternative fuel sources.  As a heavily touring band, Hot Buttered Rum had to face the tough reality of how a national tour can affect the environment and counter it with a positive change.  In response, the band helped to promote the biofuel renaissance, touring the country on recycled vegetable oil and biodiesel as early as 2003.  Band members have participated in numerous Renewable Energy and Biofuel conferences, as well as sitting on discussion panels at such renowned music festivals as Bonnaroo and High Sierra.  Highlighted in the November/December 2005 issue of E: Environmental Magazine, Hot Buttered Rum is commended for trying to "leave an impact on its fans, and not solely on the road that passes beneath its bus tires as it travels from coast to coast".  For more information on Hot Buttered Rum and their greening efforts, visit the band's website, www.hotbutteredrum.net.

The band's current list of confirmed tour dates is as follows:

November 28 Paradise Lounge Boston Boston MA
November 29-30 Stone Church Newmarket NH
December 01 Higher Ground Ballroom South Burlington VT
December 02 Iron Horse Music Hall Northampton MA
December 04 Castaways Ithaca NY
December 05 The Red Square Albany NY
December 06 FTC Stage One Fairfield CT
December 07 Knitting Factory New York NY
December 08-09 Hobo Stage Newton NJ Todd Sheaffer of Railroad Earth to open
December 14 Moe's Alley Santa Cruz CA
December 15 Mystic Theater Petaluma CA
December 28 Hodi's Half Note Fort Collins CO
December 29 Stagestop Inn Rollinsville CO
December 30-31 Oriental Theatre Denver CO
January 04 Palace of Fine Arts Theatre San Francisco CA
January 18-19 Crystal Bay Club and Casino Crystal Bay NV co-bill with Tea Leaf Green
January 23 Downtown Brewing Co. San Luis Obispo CA
January 24 SOhO Santa Barbara CA
January 25 Winston's Beach Club San Diego CA
January 26 Temple Bar Santa Monica CA
January 27 Rhythm Room Phoenix AZ
January 29 Rialto Theater Tucson AZ
January 30 Orpheum Theatre Flagstaff AZ
February 08-09 Evergreen Lodge Groveland CA
March 08 El Campanil Theatre Antioch CA
April 25-27 Merlefest Wilkesboro NC
August 08 Dead on the Creek Willits CA

More dates to be announced.

The widespread appeal of Hot Buttered Rum's music stems not only from the band's musical versatility and prolific songwriting, but also from the magnetic chemistry the group creates onstage together.  It is this chemistry that is propelling the band to ever greater success. The band has performed at festivals as diverse as the Newport Folk Festival, Bonnaroo, Grey Fox, High Sierra and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and has shared the stage with such artists as Phil Lesh, Bela Fleck, Ben Harper, Chris Thile, Mike Marshall and Peter Rowan, the last two of whom worked with the band on its critically-acclaimed studio release, Well-Oiled Machine.

DSO Dates - Including Just Announced New Years in Philly!

photo by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

Upcoming Dark Star Orchestra gigs, including stops at the Boulder Theater and DSO's just announced New Years show at the historic Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA - right outside of Philadelphia - Monday, December 31.   More date Below.  Also, check out Grateful Web's photo gallery, including some great Dark Star Orchestra pictures (some of which from the Boulder Theater). Or feel free to read some previous DSO reviews on Grateful Web.

Upcoming dates:

Fri Aug 31 - Legend Valley
7585 Kindle Road, Thornville, OH MAPQUEST
(866) 558-4253 (All Ages) - 5:00 pm EST - $65-95 -
Approx. Cap: 10000 - ONLINE TIX

 


Sat Sep 01 - Legend Valley
7585 Kindle Road, Thornville, OH MAPQUEST
(866) 558-4253 (All Ages) - Noon EST - $65-95 -
Approx. Cap: 10000 - ONLINE TIX

 


Sun Sep 02 - Maryland State Fairgrounds
2200 York Rd, Timonium, MD MAPQUEST
(410) 252-0200 (All Ages) - DSO: 7:00 pm EST - $15 - Tea Leaf Green opens
Approx. Cap: 5000 - TICKETMASTER

 


Wed Sep 05 - The Handlebar
304 E. Stone Ave., Greenville, SC MAPQUEST
(864) 233-6173 (18+ - under 18 with adult) - TBA EST - -
Approx. Cap: 500 - Tix: (800) 594-8499 the box office and horizon records ONLINE TIX

 


Thu Sep 06 - Orange Peel
101 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC MAPQUEST
(828) 225-5851 (18+) - 9:00 pm EST - $22 ADV/$24 DOS -
Approx. Cap: 942 - Tix: (866) 468-7630 ticketweb and the box office ONLINE TIX

 


Fri Sep 07 - Variety Playhouse Theater
1099 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA MAPQUEST
(404) 521-1786 (All Ages) - 8:00 pm EST - $22.50 ADV/$25 DOS -
Approx. Cap: 600 - Tix: (404) 524-7354 TICKETMASTER

 


Sat Sep 08 - Neighborhood Theatre
511 E.36th St., Charlotte, NC MAPQUEST
(704) 358-9298 (All Ages) - 9:30 pm EST - $22 ADV/$25 DOS -
Approx. Cap: 700 - ONLINE TIX

 


Sun Sep 09 - Lincoln Theater
126 E Cabarrus St, Raleigh, NC MAPQUEST
(919) 821-7766 (All Ages) - 8:00 pm EST - $20 ADV/$24 DOS (+$2 for -21) -
Approx. Cap: 600 - Tix: (919) 821-4111 ONLINE TIX

 


REX CARAVAN TOUR

Wed Sep 26 - Showbox
1426 First Ave., Seattle, WA MAPQUEST
(206) 628-0221 (21+) - 9:00 pm PST - $20 ADV/$24 DOS -
Approx. Cap: 1100 - Tix: (800) 325-7328 the box office & TicketsWest.Com ONLINE TIX

 


Thu Sep 27 - Pantages Theater
901 Broadway, Tacoma, WA MAPQUEST
(253) 591-5890 (All Ages) - 7:30 pm PST - $25/$35 -
Tix: (253) 591-5894 ONLINE TIX

 


Fri Sep 28 - Crystal Ballroom
1332 W. Burnside, Portland, OR MAPQUEST
(503) 225-0047 (All Ages) - 8:00 pm PST - $22 ADV/$24 DOS -
Approx. Cap: 1400 - Tix: (503) 224-4400 the box office TICKETMASTER

 


Sat Sep 29 - Cuthbert Amphitheatre
Day Island Rd, Eugene, OR MAPQUEST
(541) 868-3334 (All Ages) - 8:00 pm PST - $24 ADV/$29 DOS -
Approx. Cap: 4250 - ONLINE TIX

 


Mon Oct 01 - Arcata Community Center
321 Community Park Way, Arcata, CA MAPQUEST
(All Ages) - 7:00 pm PST - $23 ADV/$25 DOS -
Approx. Cap: 900 - Tix: (707) 616-9575 ONLINE TIX

 


Tue Oct 02 - Crystal Bay Club Casino
14 Highway 28, Crystal Bay, NV MAPQUEST
(775) 831-0512 (21+) - 9:00 pm MST - $25 ADV/$30 DOS -
Approx. Cap: 500 - Tix: (775) 833-6330 Tickets by Phone ONLINE TIX

 


Thu Oct 04 - Fillmore Auditorium
1805 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA MAPQUEST
(415) 346-6000 (All Ages) - TBA PST - -
Approx. Cap: 1260 - Tix: (415) 421-8497 ONLINE TIX

 


Fri Oct 05 - Fillmore Auditorium
1805 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA MAPQUEST
(415) 346-6000 (All Ages) - TBA PST - -
Approx. Cap: 1260 - Tix: (415) 421-8497 ONLINE TIX

 


Sat Oct 06 - Fillmore Auditorium
1805 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA MAPQUEST
(415) 346-6000 (All Ages) - TBA PST - -
Approx. Cap: 1260 - Tix: (415) 421-8497 ONLINE TIX

 


Tue Oct 09 - Clark Center
487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande, CA MAPQUEST
(805) 489-9444 (All Ages) - 7:00 pm PST - $30/$35/$40 -
Approx. Cap: 600 - ONLINE TIX

 


Wed Oct 10 - Belly Up Tavern
143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA MAPQUEST
(858) 481-9022 (21+) - 9:00 pm PST - $25 ADV/$27 DOS -
Approx. Cap: 600 - Tix: (858) 481-8140 the box office and Ticketmaster TICKETMASTER

 


Thu Oct 11 - Belly Up Tavern
143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA MAPQUEST
(858) 481-9022 (21+) - 9:00 pm PST - $25 ADV/$27 DOS -
Approx. Cap: 600 - Tix: (858) 481-8140 the box office and Ticketmaster TICKETMASTER

 


Fri Oct 12 - El Rey Theatre
5515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAPQUEST
(323) 936-6400 (All Ages) - 9:00 pm PST - $25 ADV/$29 DOS -
Approx. Cap: 700 - TICKETMASTER

 


Sat Oct 13 - El Rey Theatre
5515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MAPQUEST
(323) 936-6400 (All Ages) - 9:00 pm PST - $25 ADV/$29 DOS -
Approx. Cap: 700 - TICKETMASTER

 


Mon Oct 15 - Marquee Theatre
730 North Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ MAPQUEST
(480) 829-0607 (All Ages) - TBA PST - -
Approx. Cap: 1300 - Tix: (480) 829-1300 Zia Records locations TICKETMASTER

 


Thu Oct 18 - Boulder Theater
2032 14th St., Boulder, CO MAPQUEST
(303) 786-7030 - TBA MST - -
Approx. Cap: 1000 - Tix: (303) 786-7030 box office or venue website online ONLINE TIX

 


Fri Oct 19 - The Oriental Theater
4335 W. 44th St, Denver, CO MAPQUEST
(303) 466-2124 (18+) - 9:00 pm MST - $25 -
ONLINE TIX

 


Sat Oct 20 - The Oriental Theater
4335 W. 44th St, Denver, CO MAPQUEST
(303) 466-2124 (18+) - 9:00 pm MST - $25 -
ONLINE TIX

 


Thu Nov 08 - Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Ave, Ridgefield, CT MAPQUEST
(203) 438-5795 (All Ages) - 8:00 pm EST - $52.50 -
Approx. Cap: 509 - ONLINE TIX

 


Fri Nov 09 - Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Ave, Ridgefield, CT MAPQUEST
(203) 438-5795 (All Ages) - 8:00 pm EST - $52.50 -
Approx. Cap: 509 - ONLINE TIX

 


Sat Nov 10 - Dibden Performing Arts Center
337 College Hill, Johnson, VT MAPQUEST
(802) 635-1476 (All Ages) - 8:00 pm EST - $30 Gen Public/Students Free -
ONLINE TIX

 


DSO'S TENTH ANNIVERSARY SHOW!!!!
Sun Nov 11 - Higher Ground Ballroom
1214 Williston Rd. South, Burlington, VT MAPQUEST
(802) 654-8888 (21+) - TBA EST - -
Approx. Cap: 700 - Tix: (802) 652-0777 ONLINE TIX

 


Tue Nov 13 - Higher Ground Ballroom
1214 Williston Rd. South, Burlington, VT MAPQUEST
(802) 654-8888 (21+) - TBA EST - -
Approx. Cap: 700 - Tix: (802) 652-0777 ONLINE TIX

 


Wed Nov 14 - Higher Ground Ballroom
1214 Williston Rd. South, Burlington, VT MAPQUEST
(802) 654-8888 (21+) - TBA EST - -
Approx. Cap: 700 - Tix: (802) 652-0777 ONLINE TIX

 


Thu Nov 15 - Smith Opera House
82 Seneca Street, Geneva, NY MAPQUEST
(315) 789-2221 (All Ages) - 8:00 pm EST - -
Approx. Cap: 1400 - Tix: (315) 781-5483 the box office and Ticketmaster TICKETMASTER

 


Fri Nov 16 - Lowell Memorial Auditorium
50 E. Merrimack St., Lowell, MA MAPQUEST
(978) 454-2299 (All Ages) - 8:00 pm EST - $34.50 -
Approx. Cap: 2800 - TICKETMASTER

 


Unbroken Chain: The Grateful Dead in Music, Culture and Memory - A Public Symposium
Sat Nov 17 - Amherst Fine Arts Center
North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA MAPQUEST
(All Ages) - 8:00 pm EST - $20/$25/$30 -

 


Tue Nov 20 - The Egg
Empire Stste Plaza, Albany, NY MAPQUEST
(518) 473-1845 (18+) - TBA EST - -

 


Wed Nov 21 - Penn's Peak
325 Maury Road, Jim Thorpe, PA MAPQUEST
(866) 605-7325 (All Ages) - TBA EST - -
Approx. Cap: 1800 - TICKETMASTER

 


Fri Nov 23 - Nokia Theater
1515 Broadway, New York City, NY MAPQUEST
(212) 930-1950 (16+) - TBA EST - -
Approx. Cap: 2100 - TICKETMASTER

 


Sat Nov 24 - Nokia Theater
1515 Broadway, New York City, NY MAPQUEST
(212) 930-1950 (16+) - TBA EST - -
Approx. Cap: 2100 - TICKETMASTER

 


Sun Nov 25 - Bardavon Opera House
35 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, NY MAPQUEST
(845) 473-2072 (All Ages) - TBA EST - -
TICKETMASTER

 


Tue Nov 27 - Lupo's
79 Washington St., Providence, RI MAPQUEST
(401) 831-4071 (All Ages) - TBA EST - -
Approx. Cap: 1500 - Tix: (401) 331-5876 the box office and TicketMaster TICKETMASTER

 


Thu Nov 29 - Strand Theater
50 N. George St., York, PA MAPQUEST
(717) 846-1111 (All Ages) - 7:30 pm EST - -
Approx. Cap: 1200 - ONLINE TIX

 


Fri Nov 30 - Nine Thirty Club
815 V St. N.W., Washington, DC MAPQUEST
(202) 265-0930 (All Ages) - TBA EST - -
Approx. Cap: 1200 - ONLINE TIX

 


Sat Dec 01 - Nine Thirty Club
815 V St. N.W., Washington, DC MAPQUEST
(202) 265-0930 (All Ages) - TBA EST - -
Approx. Cap: 1200 - ONLINE TIX

 

 

Still The Samples After All These Years

photos by Tim Hurley- for the Grateful Web

The first time I saw the Samples perform was at a tiny little bar in Des Moines, Iowa called Z-International (long gone now) in 1991.  I was a freshman in high school, and to me and my friend's delight it was an all-ages show.  Even at sixteen years old, I could tell I was seeing a band that was unique and ahead of their time.  Their blend of roots, rock, and reggae was on the cusp of the indie rock explosion.  I was hooked.

A lot has changed since those days.  While I went on to graduate from a small private college in Minnesota and eventually move to my current home in Colorado, the Samples went through many ups and downs.  The original gang consisting of Sean Kelly, Andy Sheldon, Al Laughlin, and Jeep MacNichol broke off and went their separate ways in 1997, essentially ending the band as most knew it.  However, singer/songwriter/guitarist Sean Kelly would not let his musical dreams lie easy, and vowed to continue performing under The Samples name.

Kelly has gone through a host of backing musicians since then with varying success, none as great as the days before the release of Outpost (the last album recorded by the original band members).  Nevertheless, as I learned recently at a show in Denver, Sean Kelly and The Samples have persevered and continue to write and record new material while still performing to large, devoted crowds.

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the inception of the Samples, and what better way to celebrate than with a pair of home state shows.  Before their well-received performance at majestic Copper Mountain, they played at a relatively new venue in Denver called The Walnut Room, where I was fortunate to see the current lineup play.

Although I was none too excited about the layout of the venue, the sound quality was very good.  And to my surprise, the music room was filled to near capacity with twenty and thirty-somethings all braving a late Thursday night to hear some old favorites and hopefully catch on to a new one.

Even after twenty years, Sean Kelly's voice and guitar work is still excellent.  And I must say that the current lineup he has assembled (Bill Mutchler on drums, Jared Johnson on bass, Karl Dietel on keys/vocals, and Dan Blondin on guitar/vocals) complements his music very well.

The evening's set list was full of songs old and new.  Fan favorites such as "Did You Ever Look So Nice" and "Feel Us Shaking" were played with almost the same energy as in the days they were written.  Other gems performed included "Weight of the World", "Taking Us Home", and the catchy pop-folk track from Outpost, "Indiana".  More recently written tunes like "Black and White", and "Young and Free" peppered the show and proved that Sean Kelly is still a great songwriter.

It was reminiscent, refreshing, and just plain fun to hear the music of The Samples again.  Sean Kelly continues to find musicians that play his music so well, and I have no doubt that the band will forge ahead and enjoy some moderate successes as they are still one of the most unsung artists of my generation.

The Fox Theater Celebrates 15 Years with Umphrey's McGee

This past week the legendary Fox Theater in Boulder celebrated fifteen years of bringing exceptional music to Colorado.  The year was 1992 when Don Strasburg and his associates decided to turn the once rundown movie theater into one of the country's most popular music venues.  Since then, such celebrated artists as Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews Band,

Lennon Remembered 25 Years Later...

John Lennon was killed 25 years ago today- for the Grateful Web

Your music inspires us every day of our life, John.

The Grateful Web

Leftover will be calling it quits at years end.

- for the Grateful Web

Hi Yall:

 

Tis some very bad news but yes it is true after 15 years the boys are calling it quits. I wanted to keep all the rumors from flying

I am very sad about this the band has been a big part of my life from playing my wedding in 94 to being on the road with them for 5 or 6 hundred shows or so. Since Mark passed nothing has really ever been the same musicly they have done a great job but the feeling of family and adventure has never been the same Mark really was the glue that held things together and boy do I miss him .Vince called me a few weeks ago and broke the news He is sad and a little nervous about what the future will bring. He is also excited about the fact that he will be able to spend time with Kimba and Sylas. his boy is growing up fast. The last shows will be a three day run for new years at the boulder theater I hope the boys dont get mad at me for talking out of school here but they know I love all of them like brothers and as they say all good things must pass so get out there and see them while you can !!!