Here we go, five shows being offered this month as free ticket opportunities for SAMF members.  With the JAM coming out on Saturday, June 8th and our first show being on Father’s Day on June 16th, we’ll make the deadline Friday night June 14th at 9pm.  The winners will be notified via email and when you win you must respond to me and confirm your attendance, so if you enter the drawings, watch your emails on the night of June 14th.

We know life is expensive, and it can cost a lot of money to go out to see great, live music.  But we all love it and need it.  So, the SAM Foundation and our partners, The Sportsmen’s Tavern, Babeville, Buffalo Ironworks and Artpark are trying to support live music and at the same time make it a little easier for some of our lucky members to get out and enjoy themselves and experience the thrill of it all. 

Sportsmen’s Tavern:

June 16                      Kickstart Rumble/The Darts

A great 4pm Father’s Day double header, a killer lineup of two really powerhouse bands.  Kickstart Rumble recently did a Saturday afternoon set at Flying Bison Brewery that was tremendous!  And The Darts are fantastic, a mostly instrumental Booker T and the MGs type band.   A perfect double-bill!





June 22                     Smilo & The Ghost     

Formed in 2016, Smilo and the Ghost have been delivering hard-driving, old-time influenced folk-rock to crowds around the Northeast. Their debut album, Ghost Writers, was voted one of the “Top Three Albums of 2018” by the Erie Reader. Since then, Smilo and the Ghost have opened for national acts like Grammy Award Winning country duo Dan + Shay and alt-rock legends 10,000 Maniacs.

Tyler Smilo – Guitar, Vocals, Adam McKillip – Mandolin, Vocals, Jassen Wilber – Bass Guitar, Dominick DeCecco- Banjo, Vocals

Smilo’s emotionally charged lyrics and vocals are backed up by the virtuosity of Wilber (who has toured the world with American blues guitarist Bernard Allison) and McKillip. Their setlist moves between gritty, hard-luck foot stompers like “Nothing’s Changed” and “Big Guns” to triumphant ballads like “Save Me” and “There’s Nothing Left.” All of which are highlights of Smilo & the Ghost live shows. The band’s songs share Americana country/rock DNA with Trampled by Turtles, Dawes, and Ryan Bingham, while maintaining a voice all their own. The recent addition of DeCecco on banjo has allowed for a deeper exploration of the band’s bluegrass and country chops. These old-timey roots are on full display in their highly anticipated album, Fingers Crossed and Godspeed, which has been selected as one of Erie Reader’s “Top Three Albums of 2021.”  The band isn’t sitting still, though, and is also recording a live album in early 2022. Smilo and the Ghost combine songs meant for singing and dancing with charismatic, high-energy performing on stage. They’re as comfortable on the main stage as they are in the corner of a local bar and shouldn’t be missed at either venue.


June 22                  Trombone Shorty

“Trombone Shorty is a musical force of nature who never fails to deliver a high energy performance. It was a sensational night of sweaty NOLA funk. When New Orleans comes to your town, it would be wise to cancel whatever plans you had scheduled and laissez les bons temps rouler!”  Live in Limbo website: Shorty in Toronto-February 2024


Buffalo Ironworks:

June 22                   Tophouse

A lot of people ask us what genre we are. The truth is, we don’t know. Check out some of our music and let us know what you think. In reality, if you really want to get to know about TopHouse, y’all should shoot us a message and say hi, come to a show, or listen to some music! Why not all three?  “Fast-paced, high-energy foot stompers. Ballads that’ll make you cry. It’s kind of like a rock band married old-fashioned bluegrass and had a little baby.And named it TopHouse.”

 Babeville   9th Ward:

July 13                   Black Joe Lewis

When Joe and his band, the Honeybears, popped onto the national stage over a decade ago, many critics embraced him but still, there were some that maintained that they hadn’t paid their dues. Joe’s still here. Still going. Still cashing checks and snapping necks. The dues of hard work; the delirious heights of the industry as well as the disappointments and low hanging fruit. Through this all, Joe’s only honed his mastery over gut bucket blues guitar and his true voice. It’s a vital and distinctly American voice that never anticipated the attention he wound up receiving, never went looking for it either. It just started happening. The garage, the blues, the propulsive and synergistic live performances that inhabit the spaces of James Brown, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and the MC5…those things happened naturally from the very beginning and could only be accurately communicated in the live experience, not a press release or a slick brand campaign. Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm, The Dirtbombs, Detroit Cobras, the Strange Boys; these are some of the artists that Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears shared countless bills with; almost a roll call of the most influential soul and garage bands of the last twenty-five years.


Bob McLennan

SAM Foundation




Angela Hastings

Author Angela Hastings

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