SAMF Awards

The board is very pleased that we were able to involve you, our members, in voting for this year’s awards. 182 members participated in the voting and the process ran very smoothly.

All of our nominees were certainly worthy to win in their categories. We have great talent in Buffalo and the Sportsmen’s Tavern is the coolest venue to showcase them.

We’d like to congratulate all of our nominees who came very close to winning!

Congratulations to the Best Band nominees:  Black Rock Zydeco, Ten Cent Howl

Best Band Award goes to The Stone Country Band.

The Stone Country BandMembers Dwane Hall, Randy Bolam, Carl Eddy, Kenny Peterson, Jim Whitford and Bobby Falk have been rockin’ since the mid 70’s with their honky tonk virtuoso sound and stellar musicianship. The are Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductees Class of 1997. – Give a listen!


Congratulations to the Best Female Vocal nominees: Kate Panfil Clark, Sue Kincaid

Best Female Vocal Award goes to Dee Adams.

Dee AdamsDee’s voice and songwriting has been gracing the Sportsmen’s Tavern and other WNY venues for many years. Along with her angelic voice, Dee has been a good and loyal friend to the Foundation and the Tavern.



Congratulations to the Best Male Vocal nominees: Alan Whitney, Bill Smith

Best Male Vocal Award goes to Geno McManus.

Geno McManusGeno has been a staple of the Buffalo Music Scene currently heading two bands, Stoneflower and the Ifs, with a total of of 10 bands under his belt. Geno can sing in any range, has great harmonies, and his love for it all shines through in his singing. He is a Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee awarded not only for his songwriting, musicianship, but for his producing and recording expertise. Go to for more on Geno.

Congratulations to the Jim Lauderdale Songwriter of the Year nominees: Davey O, Bill Smith

Jim Lauderdale Songwriter of the Year Award goes to The Alison Pipitone Band.

Alison PipitoneAlison has been playing in bands since she’s been 18 and living in California. Her journey inspired her songwriting career and the rest is history of which you can read more in depth at:



Members of the Year Award: Cynthia Olrogge and Dave Waddell.

SAMF Members of the YearTwo members who have gone above and beyond for our Foundation and in a very humble way. They’ve been dubbed the Ambassadors for WNY music and have proven it by giving to the Foundation in so many ways! Not only have they sponsored the Foundation, but have surprised us with supplying music at our Corporate Sponsor’s Appreciation Night and been supportive by showing up and helping with our Guitar Program for Kids at the Valley Community Center.

Pioneer of the Year Award: Ernie Weber.

Ernie started playing at a young age with his brothers Fritz and Wally and soon became the cats everyone wanted to sound like. In the 60’s Ernie and his band played all the local Honky Tonks. They had a bluegrass-roots style of music and as electronics became popular, Ernie was the man who introduced the telecaster sound to the WNY area. The great Stan Szelest and Sandy Konikoff played country and country rock with Ernie in the 70’s along with being a great fiddle player and singer. Ernie was always the first guy to invite you to sit in with his band. Ernie and his entire family play instruments and sing including Wally Jr., Cindy and Judy who still perform today in the WNY area. Ernie was the man, his cool persona and new approach to Americana music inspired generations of young musicians. Today if you ask who pioneered Americana before it got its name, they would say Ernie and the Weber family.

Hope to see all of you at our Award’s Night at the Sportsmen’s Tavern on September 19th. Details are in the Buffalo Bob Sez portion of this newsletter.

Angela Hastings
Director of Membership

Buffalo Bob Sez:


Bill Kirchen

Bill Kirchen

The voting is over; the members have spoken. Stone Country, Geno McManus, Dee Adams and Alison Pipitone were elected to be this year’s awardees at our 2nd Annual SAMF Awards Show. The Board of Directors has chosen Cynthia Olrogge and Dave Waddell as Members of the Year and Ernie Weber as the Bill Kirchen Pioneer of the Year. We were very encouraged by the voting. It created a lot of interest and conversation among the membership, and next year we’ll expand the involvement of the members to make it even better.

The big night will be on Monday, September 19th at The Sportsmen’s Tavern from 7-10 PM. Our special guests will be our national spokesman Bill Kirchen, along with Dallas Wayne, SIRIUS radio host on Outlaw Country and on Willie’s Roadhouse. Dallas Wayne will also be the emcee for the evening. Bill Kirchen has a brand new album out,“Transatlanticana” with Austin DeLone, and Dallas Wayne’s new album, “Songs the Jukebox Taught Me” includes a duet with Willie Nelson. Both Bill and Dallas will be playing with this year’s Best Band, Stone Country, and award winners Geno McManus, Dee Adams and Alison Pipitone will also be performing.

Dallas Wayne

Dallas Wayne

We’ll be rolling out the red carpet, there will be tablecloths and candlelight, and we ask you to wear your best Americana duds for the night. Tickets will be $35 for members, $40 for non-members and $50 for special reserved seating. Last year was a sellout and tickets went very quickly, so get yours right away at either or or in person at the Sportsmen’s Tavern. It will be the most talked about show of the year.

And one more thing to make this a special night, The Sportsmen’s Tavern is giving away a pair of Golden Tickets to one lucky attendee of the Awards Show. That’s free admission to The Sportsmen’s Tavern for one year, any show, 7 days a week, at America’s greatest honky-tonk.


This month’s ticket opportunities for all active members will be Workingmans Dead at Buffalo Ironworks on September 21st. Thanks to Josh Holtzman and Ironworks. Also the Sportsmen’s Tavern is providing a pair of tickets to The THE BAND Band on September 17th, Band of Peace on September 24th and SEEGER on September 28th. Thanks to Dwane Hall for the donation. And Anna Kapechuk of Babeville has donated a pair of tickets to two different shows, both in the 9th Ward. On September 14th, Sean Hayes will be appearing with Tim Carr, and on September 15th, Parsonsfield will appear. Check them out, they look like very interesting shows in a really cool venue.

Sean Hayes
Working Man's Dead
Band of Peace
Sean Hayes

Come visit us at the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts, August 27th and 28th. We’ll be selling raffle tickets to a couple big shows at The Sportsmens’ Tavern. And bring your family and friends who haven’t joined yet; if they join that weekend, they’ll be entered into the raffle.

Bob McLennan, President
SAM Foundation

Guitar Club for Kids, sponsored by the Sportsmen’s AMF in cooperation with the Valley Community Association, wrapped up its seven week summer session on the 16th. Despite the abbreviated summer schedule, the students gained some solid basic knowledge of and appreciation for the skills required to play guitar. All of the students, ranging in age, from 12 to 14 were absolute beginners, holding and strumming a guitar for the first time. Under the very capable guidance of professional guitar instructor, David Internicola, the kids learned about the guitar’s structure, the names of the strings, several basic chords and notes and chord progressions. Interspersed throughout the program, David showed the kids videos of the some of the guitar greats, ranging from Les Paul and Eric Clapton to young masters like Gary Clark Jr. and Esperanza Spalding.

A number of the participants from the summer program are looking forward to continuing with club when we commence again in the fall. In addition to our ongoing partnership with the Valley Community Center, our goal is to launch at least one other after school program for children within the next few months. Of course it is because of the financial support of our members, to whom we are sincerely grateful, that we’ve been able to launch our Americana music appreciation program and guitar club for kids at no cost to the kids or their families. As we strive to grow the programs, we are also seeking support from those who may have some musical skills to assist with our clubs and workshops. If you or someone you know may be interested please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of the board members.

Don Nelson
Director of Education

If you are an Active member and do not have a SAMF membership card, please email me at If you are unsure if you’re an Active member, please don’t hesitate to ask.
NOTE: To receive discounts, you must show your membership card. To enter to win tickets, you must be an Active member. And as always, please don’t hesitate to contact me at the email address above.

DISCOUNTS FOR MEMBERS: The discounts we’ve arranged at this time are:

  • Sportsmen’s Tavern – The first Tuesday of every month, starting on April 5th, all members who show their card at the door will get free admission to The Twang Gang.
  • Buffalo Ironworks – 10% off all food items
  • Record Theatre – 10% off all regular priced items
  • The Tralf – Buy 3 tickets for a show and get the 4th free with a reserved table
  • Allentown Music – 10% off all regular items
  • Smolen/Bonghi CPA – 10% off all tax preparation and accounting services
  • Korona Jewelry – 2 discounts
    • Watch batteries installed for $5 instead of $7.
    • 25% off the regular price of anything in stock.
  • Ellicott Small Animal Hospital 30% off regular exam
  • Flying Bison Brewery – 10% off
  • River Grill – 20% off food Mon – Thurs til September 22, 2016

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