Sam and I move in a lot of the same circles, and aside from an appearance at Alive at Five a few years ago for some reason our paths never seemed to cross. But in the last week we keep running into one another, first at his guest slot with Reggie Wayne Morris then last night with his own band of crack blues troubadours at Barley and Hops
This is not your average group of guys who go out and play for fun, most have played with some of the biggest names in blues, one had just finished a US tour and was dropping by before heading off on a European tour, so expectations are raised.
The band did not disappoint, a fantastic set of sophisticated blues, laid back but masterful, hitting Chicago, the delta and some New Orleans funk, all swinging harder than a barn door in a tornado. Sam himself part ringmaster, often eyes closed simply enjoying the groove only a group of people clearly listening to one another can lay down, locking in tight, and leaving one another space to play. He also possesses a voice perfect for the part, smooth as molasses when he needs to be and able to apply just the right amount of grit to lead the band into an edge.
Awesome stuff, check out a criminally unknown jewel in our local scene.