Welcome to the December 2015 edition of the SAMF Members’ Newsletter and we hope the best for all of you in this Holiday Season.

Our usual ticket give away is in the Buffalo Bob article, so be sure to take advantage of it.

Don Nelson, our SAMF’s Vice President and Education Director, has us involved in a great program for kids to learn violin.

Americana Music Grammy nominations and Top 100 Americana Albums are in Kenny’s Korner!

We are showcasing one of our Corporate Sponsors once a month and this month we have the pleasure of highlighting Korona Jewelers.

Scroll down to check out these articles.

Buffalo Bob Sez:

The performance of the Bills in Philadelphia is just one more reason to focus on music instead of football. Here are a few of my thoughts:

BILL KIRCHEN HONKY TONK HOLIDAY PARTY: Nothing will get you into the Christmas spirit like the annual Bill Kirchen holiday party at The Sportsmen’s Tavern on Saturday, December 19th at 9 PM. I know it’s only a couple days after you will be receiving this newsletter, but make a snap decision and be there. It’s festive, it’s jovial, and you’ll have a great time.

Billy Sheehan

Billy Sheehan

MORE HOLIDAY FUN: After seeing Bill Kirchen on December 19th, I hope you have a ticket for the SOLD OUT 1st Annual Buffalo Musicians Christmas Party hosted by Billy Sheehan and Bobby Lebel on Wednesday, the 23rd of December. This will include members of Talas, The Road, Weekend and JJ Swing. If you don’t have a ticket, I’m not just trying to rub it in, we need to give a big acknowledgement and thanks to all involved in the show. ALL proceeds from the evening will be going to The Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation.

MEMBERSHIP DATA: For a variety of reasons, we need to complete our data on each of our members. We’re missing mailing addresses, phone numbers and even some emails. Please take a couple minutes and send us those three items ASAP. Send to samusicfoundation@gmail.com

DELTA MOON: Delta Moon put on another great show at The Sportsmen’s on November 13th so it was great to see that DOWNBEAT magazine named their new album “Low Down” one of the best albums of 2015. A lot of you have not taken advantage of the opportunity to see them; watch for them to come back. Tom Gray, lead singer, and one of the two guitar players, used to be in a band called The Brains and I saw them open for The Motels in 1983 at Uncle Sam’s on Walden Ave in Cheektowaga. He wrote “Money Changes Everything” which was hit for Cyndi Lauper. They have several albums out with a great dual guitar attack, which includes Mark Johnson. Frahner Joseph and Marion Patton are also in the band.

GIVE FOR GREATNESS: On December 1st, the Give for Greatness Foundation, through the Arts Services Initiative, announced they are giving thirty $1000 grants to various arts and music organizations in Western New York, and the SAMF is one of them. It’s very exciting news that what we are doing on the music scene in Buffalo and WNY is starting to be recognized and appreciated by the arts community. The Give for Greatness Foundation is administered by the Arts Services Institute of WNY.

READING RECOMMENDATIONS:  Dave Alvin, the great songwriter, singer, guitarist, Sportsmen’s Tavern alumni and member of The Blasters with his brother Phil, recently recommended a couple books that may be of interest to SAMF music fans.  He put the recommendations on his Facebook page. “The Death of Johnny Ace” by Steve Bergman and “Los Lobos: Dream in Blue” by Chris Morris.  I haven’t read them yet, but I plan to.  I know they’re both available on Amazon.  Dave Alvin and The Guilty Ones have done Johnny Ace is Dead at The Sportsmen’s.  It’s a great rockin’ song about the 1950’s R&B singer who may have played Russian roulette one too many times.

Johnny Ace

Also, last week I heard an interview with Tom Jones on the NPR podcast, On Point with Tom Ashbrook that was really interesting and funny when he was telling stories about his friend, Elvis Presley.  He has a new book out as well, “Over the Top and Back: The Autobiography” by Sir Tom Jones.  I bought a Tom Jones album a couple years ago, “Spirit in the Room” that was released in 2013.  Whatever you think about Tom Jones in the past, this is a great bluesy, soulful, rockabilly album full of great songs, including a cover of Tom Waits’ “Bad as Me.”

One more, this time close to home.  Michael Farrell is from Buffalo and a writer for The Buffalo News.  He’s done some very good reviews and advance press for shows at The Sportsmen’s Tavern and the SAMF.  He just had a novel released, “When the Lights Go Out” that’s set in the rock music scene in Buffalo.  While this is also available in Amazon, I’m pretty certain you can get it at Buffalo bookstores, as well.
FREE TICKETS:  Last month, John DiCillo won for the Steve Earle Tribute, Lorraine Gaik for The Black Lillies and Craig Touma for The above-mentioned Bill Kirchen Holiday show, all at The Sportsmen’s Tavern.



Donna the Buffalo

Donna the Buffalo

Donna the Buffalo

Donna the Buffalo




Bob McLennan

Sportsmens Americana Music Foundation Applauds and Supports Community Contribution of Buffalo String Works!

Back in the spring of 2014 the inspiration for BSW (buffalostringworks.org), a music club aimed at benefiting the under-served population on Buffalo’s West side, occurred after a concert performed at P.S 45 International School. At the conclusion of a Brahms’ piano concerto, the student wanted to try the instruments and asked when they could learn how to play them! So it was at that point when Co-Directors Elise Golove, Yuki Numata Resnick and Virginia Barron asked themselves, “When, indeed?!”

Since its creation after that spring concert, Buffalo String works has been providing bi-weekly violin lessons for Buffalo school children, immigrants and refugees, displaced from around the globe. Instructors are experienced local music teachers and violin performance students from the University of Buffalo.

On Sunday, December 13th, my wife, Maureen and our three grand children and I had the opportunity to attend BSW’s Holiday concert. The students beautifully performed six numbers on violin. For the final number, Canon in D, the young violinists were accompanied beautifully by Isaiah Grisha Day on Cello.

I have to say that hearing these kids, representing eight countries from around the globe, and having participated in the program for as little as three months, play Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” was remarkable and moving! Capping off a memorable experience after the concert, all in attendance were invited to enjoy snacks prepared and contributed by the families of the young musicians.

The SAMF recognizes and applauds the fine work of BSW. Moreover, we want to do whatever we can to support BSW so that they may expand their efforts and positive impact throughout our community. As BSW is planning to expand their lesson offerings to include cello, the SAMF is very pleased to announce that we have approved the purchase of two cellos that we will be donating to their organization.

The lessons provided by BSW, are undoubtedly having a significant, positive impact on the lives of the students, providing them with a sense of belonging in their new community and once again providing proof that music truly is the universal language!


Don Nelson
Vice President

Kenny’s Korner

Americana Music Association announced 12/7/15:

And the GRAMMY® Nominees in the Best American Roots Music Field are…

Best Americana Album

  • Brandi Carlile, The Firewatcher’s Daughter
  • Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, The Traveling Kind
  • Jason Isbell, Something More Than Free
  • The Mavericks, Mono
  • Punch Brothers, The Phosphorescent Blues

Best American Roots Song

  • The Mavericks, “All Night Long”
  • Don Henley & Merle Haggard, “The Cost of Living”
  • Punch Brothers, “Julep”
  • Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, “The Traveling Kind”
  • Jason Isbell, “24 Frames”

Best American Roots Performance

  • Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, “And Am I Born to Die”
  • Buddy Guy, “Born to Play Guitar”
  • The Milk Carton Kids, “City of Our Lady”
  • Punch Brothers, “Julep”
  • Mavis Staples, “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean”

Best Bluegrass Album

  • Dale Ann Bradley, Pocket Full of Keys
  • Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Before the Sun Goes Down
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, In Session
  • Ralph Stanley & Friends, Man of Constant Sorrow
  • The Steeldrivers, The Muscle Shoals Recordings

Best Blues Album

  • Cedric Burnside Project, Descendants of Hill Country
  • Shemekia Copeland, Outskirts of Love
  • Buddy Guy, Born to Play Guitar
  • Bettye LaVette, Worthy
  • John Primer & Various Artists, Muddy Waters 100

Best Folk Album

  • Norman Blake, Wood, Wire & Words
  • Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn
  • Rhiannon Giddens, Tomorrow Is My Turn
  • Patty Griffin, Servant of Love
  • Glen Hansard, Didn’t He Ramble

Best Regional Roots Music Album

  • Jon Cleary, Go Go Juice
  • Natalie Ai Kamauu, La La La La
  • Keali’i Reichel, Kawaiokalena
  • The Revelers, Get Ready
  • Windwalker and The MCW, Generations

And cheers to our friends who garnered nominations in some of the other categories!

Album of the Year

  • Alabama Shakes, Sound and Color
  • Chris Stapleton, Traveller

Best Rock Performance

  • Alabama Shakes, “Don’t Wanna Fight”

Best Alternative Music Album

  • Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color
  • Wilco, Star Wars

Best Country Album

  • Ashley Monroe, The Blade
  • Kacey Musgraves, Pageant Material
  • Chris Stapleton, Traveller

Best Rock Song

  • Alabama Shakes, “Don’t Wanna Fight”

Best R&B Album

  • Leon Bridges, Coming Home

Best Country Song

  • Lee Ann Womack, “Chances Are” (Written by Hayes Carll)
  • Brandy Clark, “Hold My Hand”
  • Chris Stapleton, “Traveller”

Best Country Solo Performance

  • Chris Stapleton, “Traveller”
  • Lee Ann Womack, “Chances Are”

Best Roots Gospel Album

  • The Fairfield Four, Still Rockin’ My Soul

Best Historical Album

  • Bob Dylan and the Band, The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11
  • Various Artists, Parchman Farm: Photographs and Field Recordings, 1947–1959

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

  • James Taylor, Before This World
  • Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical

  • Dave Cobb
  • Larry Klein
  • Blake Mills


Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free
JD McPherson – Let The Good Times Roll
Brandi Carlile – The Firewatcher’s Daughter
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color
Steve Earle & The Dukes – Terraplane
Ray Wylie Hubbard – The Ruffian’s Misfortune
Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – The Traveling Kind
Chris Stapleton – Traveller
Mavericks – Mono
Robert Earl Keen – Prisoner – The Bluegrass Sessions
Ryan Bingham – Fear And Saturday Night
Dwight Yoakam – Second Hand Heart
Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard – Django and Jimmie
James McMurtry – Complicated Game
Richard Thompson – Still
Rhiannon Giddens – Tomorrow Is My Turn
Asleep at the Wheel – Still The King, Celebrating The Music of Bob Wills
Calexico – Edge Of The Sun
Eilen Jewell – Sundown Over Ghost Town
Amy Helm – Didn’t It Rain
Dale Watson – Call Me Insane
Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin – Lost Time
Houndmouth – Little Neon Limelight
Allison Moorer – Down To Believing
Watkins Family Hour – Watkins Family Hour
Rhett Miller – The Traveler
Lost on the River – The New Basement Tapes
Pokey LaFarge – Something In The Water
Sonny Landreth – Bound By The Blues
Patty Griffin – Servant Of Love
Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet
Uncle Lucius – The Light
Ashley Monroe – he Blade
Warren Haynes Featuring Railroad Earth – Ashes & Dust
Leon Bridges – Coming Home
John Moreland – High On Tulsa Heat
Punch Brothers – The Phosphorescent Blues
Blackberry Smoke – Holding All The Roses
Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors – Medicine
Sam Outlaw – Angeleno
Don Henley – Cass County
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
Joe Ely – Panhandle Rambler
Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats
Jimmy LaFave – The Night Tribe
Lucinda Williams – Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone
Los Lobos – Gates Of Gold
Statesboro Revue – Jukehouse Revival
Mark Knopfler – Tracker
The Bros. Landreth – Let It Lie
Josh Ritter – Sermon On The Rocks
Bottle Rockets – South Broadway Athletic Club
The Mike & Ruthy Band – Bright As You Can
Gretchen Peters – Blackbirds
Whitey Morgan & The 78s – Sonic Ranch
Will Hoge – Small Town Dreams
Jorma Kaukonen – Ain’t In No Hurry
Whitehorse – Leave No Bridge Unburned
Langhorne Slim – The Spirit Moves
Justin Townes Earle – Absent Fathers
Turnpike Troubadours – Turnpike Troubadours
The Deslondes – The Deslondes
Milk Carton Kids – Monterey
Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line – Wake
Leftover Salmon – High Country
Shelby Lynne – I Can’t Imagine
J.J. Grey And Mofro – Ol’ Glory
Laura Marling – Short Movie
American Aquarium – Wolves
Honeycutters – Me Oh My
Daniel Romano – If I’ve Only One Time Askin’
Jonathan Tyler – Holy Smokes
Black Lillies – Hard To Please
Shakey Graves – And The War Came
Jackie Greene – Back To Birth
Anne McCue – Blue Sky Thinkin’
Wood Brothers – Paradise
Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers – Loved Wild Lost
The Grahams – Glory Bound
Sugarcane Jane – Dirt Road’s End
Glen Hansard – Didn’t He Ramble
Steeldrivers – The Muscle Shoals Recordings
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds – The Weather Below
Stoney LaRue – Aviator
Sam Lewis – Waiting On You
Honey Honey – 3
Della Mae – Della Mae
Darrell Scott – 10 Songs of Ben Bullington
Dar Williams – Emerald
Yonder Mountain String Band – Black Sheep
Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
William Clark Green – Ringling Road
Whitney – Heartbreaker Of The Year
Underhill Rose – The Great Tomorrow
Liz Longley – Liz Longley
Shawn – Uncovered
Waifs – Beautiful You
The Lone – Then Came The Morning
Kentucky – Meet Me In Blues Land

We are celebrating this month’s Corporate Sponsor:

Korona Jewelry!

My business (Korona Jewelry) was located at 360 Amherst for 88 years, nine doors down from The Sportsmen’s, until we moved to Hertel in 2004. I remember when Dwane and Denise bought the business. The boys were little and Denise would be taking them to the bus stop at the time I was putting jewelry in my window. I started going there about 12 years ago to catch some non-country groups. Country music was never a favorite but it grew on me. I ran into old friends and made many new ones. My favorite performers are the ones that have a lot of original material. Turning phrases, conveying a message, or a unique way of looking at something will always broaden your world. Songwriting and music are one of the most satisfying art forms to me. The quality of the local musicians is something we are lucky to have. What Dwane has done with the bar is just amazing. We all know the sound quality is the best and musicians love playing there. I’ve seen the place transform and I’m happy to be a corporate sponsor and do my little part to keep it rocking.

Korona Jewelry is 115 years old. It was started by my grandfather in New Jersey in 1900. He moved to Buffalo in 1915 and opened on Amherst St. in 1916. This was a thriving business district.He and my father repaired watches and clocks. Some jewelry and giftware were also included. I went a different route learning jewelry fabrication and repair as well as earning my Graduate Gemologist degree. My wife, Noreen, works with all types of pearls and gemstone beads to create necklaces and earrings. My son, Will, is currently learning some fabrication techniques as well as handling our photography and advertising. I love colored stones and try to use only higher quality gems in my pieces. Our shop also carries three award winning designers .From the Celtic designs of “Keith Jack” to the satin finishes of “Kelim’ or the modern “Frederic Duclos” as well as our designs we work to make our jewelry unique.


Joe Korona


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