SAMF 1st Annual Tom Hambridge Americana Music FestivalThis month’s newsletter is dedicated to promoting our 1st Annual Tom Hambridge Americana Music Festival. Hope y’all are coming!

A big thanks goes out to our main sponsors:


Americanarama Sponsors


Hey folks – be sure to watch the commercial for our TV Pilot of “Live from Black Rock”


Set your DVR! The premier episode of “Live From Black Rock” will be on WBBZ, Channel 5 on Time Warner Cable. The show will appear twice prior to the 1st Annual Tom Hambridge Americana Music Festival. Tuesday, June 21st at 6:30 PM and Thursday, June 23rd at 10:30 PM, starring The Skiffle Minstrels and Leroy Townes. We are close to finishing two more shows starring Eilen Jewell and Ten Cent Howl, and Robbie Fulks and CreekBend.

Lucy BellLook below for Lucy Bell’s interview with recording extraordinaire, Jason Hall, about the behind the scenes action on how SAMF’s TV show, “Live from Black Rock” came about and is being produced.  Lucy has also graced us with review of The Red Elvises show at the Tavern last week.



Buffalo Bob Sez

Ok, music lovers, this is it! You’re getting this email sent to you on Monday morning, June 20th and this coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday June 25th and 26th will be the 1st Annual Tom Hambridge Americana Music Festival at Riverside Park in Buffalo.

The SAM Foundation is coming up on its two year anniversary. We’ve made great progress, expanding our membership, providing educational opportunities for children, sending out our newsletter, presenting Foundation concerts, and this week, seeing our TV show, “Live From Black Rock” appearing on broadcast TV for the first time (June 21st at 6:30 PM and June 23rd at 10:30 PM on WBBZ, Channel 5). We’re living up to much of our mission statement, and that includes the Festival this weekend. This is a big event that could continue putting our Foundation, The Sportsmen’s and the entire WNY music scene onto the national map.

On Saturday the headliner, Tom Hambridge, is a Grammy winner from Buffalo and Buddy Guy’s main man, with an incredible resume of accomplishments. And look at that line-up in the poster at the start of this newsletter! Commander Cody and Bill Kirchen have been Americana superstars before the name existed. Ten Cent Howl and The Willies are great bands to kick off the Fest.

On Sunday, we get the return of AMERICANARAMA, starring Buck Quigley and The Steam Donkeys, with a list of co-stars that could warrant their own Americana Fest by themselves. All in one show; Leroy Townes, McCarthyizm, Flatbed, Uncle Ben’s Remedy and the Kensingtons, Buffalo’s Best Grill Food Trucks, Genesee Beer and Flying Bison, the stage under a big tent, all right along the beautiful Niagara River. What more could you ask for? We’ll have it all in place; this is a big deal for the SAMF, its members and all the musicians we love. WE NEED YOU to complete the picture. The early forecast is for the weekend to be great summer weather. Great music, cold beer and spending the day along the Niagara River with many hundreds of your best musical friends….where else would you rather be?

Bob McLennan
SAM Foundation

Kenny’s Korner

Commander Cody

Commander Cody

Long before the term Americana was born, dozens of bands & musicians were blending their love for country music with rock & roll. One of the best (in my humble opinion) was Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen.

On Sat. June 25, the 1st annual Tom Hambridge Americana Music Festival will feature two original members of CC&TLPA, George Frayne (aka Commander Cody) & Bill Kirchen. They are now working separately keeping the flame alive, but they each bring their current line up to our festival.

Bill Kirchen

Bill Kirchen

Just maybe, Bill & George might perform a little reunion.

Check out what Rolling Stone had to say about the band 46 years ago.


Kenny Biringer

Coming To A Living Room Near You

Jay Hall Talks about the New Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation TV Show “Live from Black Rock”

At the beginning of this summer, Jay Hall has been in talks with WBBZ of airing the pilot of his musical television show: Live From Black Rock! I recently sat down with him for an interview and to get some insight on the series. The show is filmed with a nod to Austin City Limits. Set your DVR! The premier episode of “Live From Black Rock” will be on WBBZ, Channel 5 on Time Warner Cable. The show will appear twice prior to the 1st Annual Tom Hambridge Americana Music Festival. Tuesday, June 21st at 6:30 PM and Thursday, June 23rd at 10:30 PM, starring The Skiffle Minstrels and Leroy Townes. Two more shows are almost finished starring Eilen Jewell and Ten Cent Howl, and Robbie Fulks and CreekBend.

Reviewed by Lucy Bell

How did the TV show come about?

Jay Hall
I suppose we always wanted to do something like this. There is nothing like a live music performance and television captures it pretty well. We always wanted to promote the WNY music talent and this idea seems to be the best way to do it.

What inspired you to get it started?

I have always been involved in production of some sort. I’ve done theatre, film and music production my entire life. This is just the next evolution I suppose.

Who helped you get it started and are they still involved today/who is involved with the project?

Its always been an idea of [Dwane Hall] to do a project like this. He is the driving force behind it. Once the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation was started, it became the vehicle for producing the show. We have a great team made up of: Jae Damiel, Paul Panzarella, Alan Garten, Chris Parker, Geno McManus and others, as well as the support of the musicians both locally and nationally.

When did filming for the show start?

We shot the pilot in November of 2015 and are shooting a full schedule throughout this year.

How has it been made possible?

The show is made possible through private donations and the membership support of the foundation.

What do you hope to see in the future with the show/where would you like it to go?

I’d like the show to get some national and global recognition. We’re also hoping to build a relationship with independent TV stations and to utilize the Internet the best way possible.

What are some of your main goals with the show?

Promoting Americana music as well as helping to get some more recognition for the WNY music community are some of the biggest goals we have right now.

If you could have any artist on the show, who would it be?

Metallica won’t fit the bill, but I’d love to have them.

Not A Still Hip In the House – Red Elvises Take Sportsmen’s By Storm

Summer is here and The Sportsmen’s knows how to kick it off right

Red Elvises Review by Lucy Bell

On an early June night, I strolled into The Sportsmen’s, only to be greeted by an incredible energy of sheer drunken happiness. The Red Elvises, a favorite of The Sportsmen’s stage and audience, had finished with their first set by the time I had arrived to the show.

As I patiently waited, I had absolutely no idea what I was really in for.

When the band had finally taken the stage, I had to blink twice to make sure what I was seeing was actually there in front of my eyes.

The Red Elvises were unlike any band I’ve seen. Comprised of two gals and three guys, this five piece, led by Igor Yuzov, a made-for-entertainment- guitarist and Russian native that started the band in 1995, were dressed in silk suits of neon colors, short dresses, two toned tights and some of the most impressive moon boots I have ever seen.

Red Elvises

Do you see what I mean?! Photo credit: Carl Cederman

The Red Elvises sound like just what the band’s name implies- a rockabilly/surf/gypsy band of musicians that may have seemed like they were screwing around, but were some of the most talented musicians I have ever experienced. One of the songs that most struck me was “Closet Disco Dancer”, a song of a character that laments the fact that they have to hide their love for disco dancing, but courageously steps out onto the dance floor and shows the world what they really love. Throughout the song, Igor and his crew ordered the audience to put their finger in the air, yelling, “UP!…then down…” multiple times to mimic the famous disco dance move.

Of course, the audience happily obeyed.

What I found the most impressive about the Red Elvises is although their genre is very specific, the musicians, and what they play, are not. Upon speaking to some members of the band after the show, I learned their trumpet player Michael is a Texas native that attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music and is well connected with some of the most talented jazz musicians in this day in age. Jasmin, the little drummer that packs a huge punch and native of Los Angeles, stated she started drumming in church and was a devout pop punk fan when she was younger.

Even Igor, the face of The Red Elvises had an eclectic taste of American rock n’ roll to British invasion to Gypsy swing.

The Red Elvises aren’t a band that simply stand on a stage and play at the audience, they urge them to get involved, demanding them to put their hands up, clap or scream as loud as they can (Igor even lifts his microphone, stand and all, over the crowd to get them to scream louder). They involve the crowd and supremely fulfill the definition of entertainment. After seeing the Red Elvises, I felt as if I could stay up all night from the adrenaline rush of seeing the crowd has happy and involved as they were alone.

So I urge you, dear reader, when you see the Red Elvises on The Sportsmen’s calendar again, be sure to buy yourself a ticket in advance because it will be sold out. This is something you do NOT want to miss.


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.


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 batteriers installed for $5 instead of $7.
    • 25% off the regular price off anything in stock.
  • Ellicott Small Animal Hospital 30% off regular exam
  • Flying Bison Brewery – 10% off

Author ch0yx

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  • […] 1st Annual Tom Hambridge Festival takes place Saturday, June 25th from 3:00 – 9:30pm and on Sunday, June 26th from 2:00 – 8:00pm […]

  • […] The American Repertory Theatre is up and running at the 330 Studio next door to The Sportsmen’s Tavern. Vice President Don Nelson has arranged great educational efforts at The Valley Community Center including guitar lessons for kids; we’re working with the Buffalo String Works, and the TV show, “Live From Black Rock” is extremely close to finished and will be rolling out very soon. Our next big event is The 1st Annual Tom Hambridge Americana Music Festival on June 25th at Riverside Park. […]

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