Due to the generosity of the SAM Foundation, the Sportsmen’s Tavern, Babeville and Buffalo Ironworks, we are offering you the chance to win tickets to nine different shows this month.

You haven’t heard of certain bands?  In this day and age, its never been easier to find out about music you’re unfamiliar with.  You can find out about the artists on their Facebook page or website and hear their music on whatever streaming service you use.  So, check out this list of shows where we’re offering free tickets.  If you are interested, send me an email at rjmcl14@gmail.com by Sunday night April 14th at 9 pm.  Tell me which shows you’d like to win and watch your email on the 14th to find out if you won.

These free tickets are offered as a benefit of membership.  Usually if you win even once during the year, it pays for a significant portion of your annual membership.  And that’s on top of getting into Foundation Night with the Twang Gang for free the first Tuesday of every month.  Add in everything else the SAMF does and that makes your membership a solid donation to a good cause.  However, we can still use your help by telling your friends about the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation and explaining to them that it’s cool to be a member, and you can win free tickets!

Willie Watson w/ Thor Platter                   April 17                 Babeville-9th Ward

For over two decades, Willie Watson has made modern folk music rooted in older traditions. He’s a folksinger in the classic sense: a singer, storyteller, and traveler, with a catalog of songs that bridge the gap between the past and present. From his early days as a founding member of the Old Crow Medicine Show to his current work as a solo artist, he is a celebrated musician with a rich vocal range, a top interpreter of the folk canon and a highly skilled multi-instrumentalist. On the road as an active touring musician, Watson often plays alone with his soaring vocals accompanied by his guitar, banjo and harmonica, but most recently has been traveling with his new string band, featuring fellow Old Crow alum Ben Gould on upright bass, Sam Schmidt on guitar and mandolin, and Rosie Newton on fiddle.


Driftwood                                                            April 19                Buffalo Ironworks

Driftwood is an Americana/Folk-Rock band from Binghamton, New York that was formed in 2005. The group consists of Dan Forsyth, Joe Kollar, Claire Byrne, Joey Arcuri and Sam Fishman. Their music has been described variously as “fusing traditional Americana with contemporary influences and timeless subject matter”.




Danielle Nicole Band                                    April 21               Sportsmen’s Tavern

There has been no shortage of praise; Guitar World stated, “Danielle Nicole has won respect and admiration throughout the American blues scene for her soulful, inventive playing and tireless work ethic.” Blues Music Magazine effused, “Nicole brings it, bakes it, and serves it up blazing on a silver soul-rocking platter.” The Kansas City Star declared, “Blues and soul vocalists tend to improve as they age. Bettye LaVette is among the artists who became increasingly believable as she matured. Danielle Nicole appears to be following in her footsteps.” And the legendary Koko Taylor gets right to the point: “That girl gets down to the nitty gritty!” –



Funktional Flow                                        April 27              Buffalo Ironworks

Hailing from Buffalo, NY, Funktional Flow is a multi-genre quintet heavily rooted in rock and reggae, with a funk foundation. Over the past six years, the band has released three albums and played hundreds of shows throughout the Northeast and beyond.




Bruce Wojick and the Struggle              May 2                 Babeville-9th Ward

Bruce Wojick from Niagara Falls, NY is regarded as one of the most talented and respected guitarists and songwriters in the Western, NY area. The veteran musician has been a mainstay on the area scene performing as a key component in two of the area’s best and most popular original rock bands–Gods Children and Klear.  He has been named the top original guitar player five times at the Buffalo Music Awards and has received several other guitarist awards throughout Western New York. Nationally, Wojick’s songs have been featured in numerous television shows and films.  Bruce has opened for and shared the stage with several international recording artists to include The Goo Goo Dolls, Chuck Berry, Kid Rock, Alice Cooper, Government Mule, Puddle of Mudd, Creedence Clearwater (CCR), Heart and Boston.In 2009, he decided to go solo and blend rock, soul, country and Americana, to form his own unique style with his band The Struggle and has been rocking stages ever since.

Miller and the Other Sinners         May 3              Sportsmen’s Tavern  w/Beave and Ashley opening the show

“Thieves In The Breadline”, is now available for PREORDER with 8 original songs on Vinyl and 11 original songs plus two bonus original tracks, one being a tribute to the late Darick Campbell of The Campbell Brothers, is available on CD and Digitally. This album is an eclectic collection of Memphis inspired Americana taking you from 70’s Soul & Funk Clubs to Soul Grooves on a Rock Stage, Sunday Morning Gospel Church Altars to Smoky Jazz & Blues Dive Bars. Miller’s last 4 years with Drummer, Isaiah Griffin, and Keyboardist/Bassist/Vocalist, Steve Davis, have produced a core trio that’s featured on the entire album alongside the duo horn section added in 2023 of Dalton Sharp and Paul Gaspar. This 5-piece band brings the songs to life with some help from incredible backup singers, Rena Williams, Cinnamon Jones, Jasmine Neeley, and Ashley Nicole Brown.

Yarn                                                    May 8                Sportsmen’s Tavern

Blake Christiana, founding member of Yarn, has the music in him. In fact, you could say that Blake is the music, and the music is Blake; that’s how deeply he inhabits the songs he writes and plays. You can hear him struggling with his feelings, whether it’s on a skittering country shuffle or on a mid-tempo folk ballad or a straight-ahead rocker. His restless search for the chords and lyrics over the past 20 years has produced a plethora of memorable music, and since 2007 he’s led Yarn, a band that’s evolved from its earliest days as a bar band in New York City to an outstanding roots band that’s shared stages with Dwight Yoakam, Marty Stuart, Alison Krauss, and Leftover Salmon, among many others.  17 years and over 10 albums later, Yarn has a new album, Born, Blessed, Grateful & Alive, out in July 2024.  Yarn keeps spinning their stories, drawing audiences into their vibrant musical web, and delivering clever and resonant lyrics in memorable songs that reverberate and linger in listeners’ hearts and souls.

Eggy w/Organ Fairchild                 May 9                    Buffalo Ironworks

Eggy is a four-piece jam band from New Haven, CT composed of guitarist and vocalist Jake Brownstein, keyboardist Dani Battat, bassist Mike Goodman and drummer Alex Bailey with an eclectic style mixing funk, psychedelic rock, blues and more.  Song by timeless song Eggy reaches out a hand, inviting you along as a great story unfolds. Eggy’s music traces the full spectrum of emotions, evoked by a life well-lived alongside friends well-loved.

Organ Fairchild   Jam scene mainstays Joe Bellanti, Corey Kertzie and Dave Ruch met in 1983 as members of Buffalo NY Grateful Dead cover band “Wild Knights,” a group that still plays reunion shows to this day.  But it wasn’t until early 2020 that they wrote their first original music together, this time as a three-piece instrumental organ trio/funky jam band Organ Fairchild.  Seriously, get ready to get down with Organ Fairchild!  “Decades of musical camaraderie and telepathy shine through” – Live for Live Music  “A veritable cocktail of flavours – no gimmicks, no hype” – Soul&Jazz&Funk, UK“  Had even the shyest of shy folks bouncing around” – Mirth Films, Albany NY  “Like Medeski Martin and Wood meets Santana” – a fan

Los Straitjackets                                May 12                    Sportsmen’s Tavern

Masked marvels of instrumental rock, Los Straitjackets were the first band with the vision to realize reverb-drenched guitars and Lucha Libre were meant to be together. Playing in a style that owes a debt to veteran instrumental acts such as the Ventures, Duane Eddy, and Dick Dale, and never taking the stage without their trademark Mexican wrestling masks, Los Straitjackets deliver crisp guitar work with twang and reverb for seasoning, a no-nonsense rhythm section, solid instrumental skills, and a pronounced sense of humor. While the bulk of their catalog is instrumental, they’ve collaborated with vocalists such as Nick Lowe, Deke Dickerson, Big Sandy (of Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys), and Raul Malo (of the Mavericks), and they can build albums around themes such as swingin’ ’60s pop (2006’s Twist Party!!!), the arrival of Santa Claus (2002’s ‘Tis the Season for Los Straitjackets), Latin rock & roll (2007’s Rock en Español, Vol. 1), and popular television theme songs (2019’s Channel Surfing).

Is that a varied enough list of choices for you?  Nine shows, eighteen pairs of tickets being given away to members of the SAM Foundation.  Five Buffalo bands on the list.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  But you know what, you can’t win if you don’t play.

Get out there and support live music!

Robert J. McLennan, SAM Foundation member


Angela Hastings

Author Angela Hastings

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