Welcome to the May 2016 edition of the SAMF Members’ Newsletter.  Read through for Volunteer Opportunities, Our 1st Annual Tom Hambridge Festival new, Buffalo Bob Sez, Kenny’s Korner, review of Eilen Jewell’s show at the Sportsmen’s Tavern, and our ticket give-away opportunities for this month.

Volunteer Opportunities for the Tom Hambridge Festival, June 25th and 26th.

SAMF 1st Annual Tom Hambridge Americana Music FestivalOur 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 at Riverside Park. We have many opportunities for you to be a part of this festival as a volunteer and they come with perks! All time slots are around 2.5 hours long so that you may enjoy the festival at your leisure.

The following are the jobs that we need filled:

  • Set Up – starting at 12:30 on Saturday
  • Entrance – taking tickets, stamping
  • Selling Beer Tickets
  • Selling Merchandise and Memberships
  • VIP Area – set up, serving and PR, making sure things are going well.
  • Beer and Wine Pourers
  • Clean Up Crew at the end of each day

Time is approaching, therefore, we need commitments. You may request a certain job but it’s not guaranteed that you will get that specific one.

Please respond by May 27th samusicfoundation@gmail.com

Thank you!
Angela Hastings

Buffalo Bob Sez


Be There! Mark your calendars for June 25th and 26th. These are the dates for the 1st Annual Tom Hambridge Americana Music Festival, which also qualifies it as the first official Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation summer festival. We’re very pleased to collaborate with Buffalo’s own Tom Hambridge on Saturday the 25th to create our Americana Music Festival. And as a bonus, the Festival will continue into Sunday, June 26th for a return of AMERICANARAMA, starring Buck Quigley and the Steam Donkeys and five more of the most promising Americana artists in WNY.

We’ve sent out press releases all over town, a great line-up of bands is booked, we’re lining up sponsors and volunteers, we’ve arranged for the tent, the permits from the City, the beer trucks, the food trucks from SAMF corporate member, Buffalo’s Best Grill, and we continue to work on all the other many details. Everybody knows about the Americana Music Association Festival in Nashville and the Austin City Limits Festival in Texas. That’s going to be us; the Sportsmen’s Tavern is already well-known throughout the country in music circles, and many artist, fans and music professionals are aware of what we’ve accomplished as a non-profit Foundation. Our Festival this year, on top of all our other achievements including our TV show, “Live From Black Rock”, our annual awards show, guitar lessons for kids and many other ongoing projects, will be our biggest and boldest statement yet that the SAM Foundation is here to stay and will be a major player on the national Americana scene.

Dwane Hall, Buddy Guy, Tom Hambridge

Dwane Hall, Buddy Guy, Tom Hambridge

We’re very proud that Tom Hambridge has chosen his hometown and the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation to host his 1st Annual Americana Music Festival. Joining Tom Hambridge and the Rattlesnakes on the bill on June 25th will be all-stars and founders of the Americana genre, Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun and the Commander Cody Band. Opening the festival will be two incredibly talented bands from Buffalo, The Willies and Ten Cent Howl.

Tom Hambridge is a force on the national music scene. He’s played the Sportsmen’s Tavern and even brought Buddy Guy, who he serves as producer and band leader, along one night for the show.

How about other artists? What do Delbert McClinton, Van Morrison, ZZ Top, BB King, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rascal Flatts, Johnny Winter, George Thorogood, Susan Tedeschi, American Idol, Walt Disney Pictures and many others have in common? Tom Hambridge! Tom is a Grammy award-winning producer and five-time Grammy nominated singer/songwriter/drummer, and he’s from right here in WNY. On February 21, 2012, Tom joined Buddy Guy, Keb Mo, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Mick Jagger, BB King and others in a performance for the White House’s “Red, White and Blues” Black History Month celebration concert. During the performance, President Barack Obama provided a brief history of the Blues and accompanied the group during the song “Sweet Home Chicago”.

Tom Hambridge & Byron BrownOn December 28, 2015, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown officially proclaimed, “Tom Hambridge Day” in Buffalo. Mayor Brown said, “Our city is proud of Tom’s achievements and we thank him for his continued commitment and devotion to the arts which help shape the heart of our society, a city’s quality of life and play a key role in spurring economic growth”.

Hambridge, a Jamestown native who was raised in Amherst, has also performed with Jeff Beck, Ringo Starr, James Taylor and the Allman Brothers. Early in his career, he backed up Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Percy Sledge and Billy J. Kramer. He opened for the Everly Brothers, B.B. King, the Clash and Kiss. “Wherever I go in the world, everyone asks me where I’m from, and I’m so proud always to say Buffalo, New York,” Hambridge said. “I love the city. My family is from here. My beautiful wife, Chris, is from here. And, I would just like to acknowledge my mom and dad for supporting me, and letting me bang on the drums when I was very young, and always encouraging me.”

Wherever I go in the world, everyone asks me where I’m from, and I’m so proud always to say Buffalo, New York.

The SAM Foundation has made very significant progress since our inception. We have 400 dues paying, music loving members of the Foundation. We’re providing educational opportunities for children at The Valley Community Center. We’ve produced and completed the pilot episode of our TV show, “Live From Black Rock” and have two additional shows almost ready, and we’ve worked with other music non-profits, The WNY Blues Society, The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and The Colored Musicians Club. We’ve collaborated with other WNY musical partners, The Tralf, Buffalo Ironworks, Babeville, Town Ballroom, MusicalFare Theatre, 189 Public House, Artpark and UB Center for the Arts, in addition to local businesses and organizations, including The Good Neighborhood, Flying Bison Brewery, Record Theatre, Allentown Music, Korona Jewelry, Hydraulic Hearth and Buffalo’s Best Grill.

We’re doing great things for the music and arts scene in our community and ultimately for the economy in WNY. The 1st Annual Tom Hambridge Americana Music Festival is going to be a great event for the music and arts scene in Buffalo and WNY and all who attend will have a fantastic and memorable time. WE NEED YOU to attend the Festival, and you need to be there. Don’t put yourself in a position to have to regret that you missed what will be the music event of 2016 in Western New York. Tickets will go fast; see elsewhere in this issue for line-up and ticket information. I’ll see you on the last weekend in June to really kick off the summer in Buffalo.

Bob McLennan
SAM Foundation

Kenny’s Korner

Western New York native and musical powerhouse Tom Hambridge is simply a humble & nice guy. Tom is the type of guy you would love to have a couple of beers with @ a neighborhood tavern chatting about anything & everything.

Tom HambridgeOver the years Tom would stop by Sportsmen’s Tavern unannounced just to hang, have a beer & sometimes to do a couple of tunes with whomever was on stage, when he happened to be in town visiting relatives. He never would announce that he would be stopping by or be looking for fanfare.

These visits resulted in doing shows @ Sportsmen’s Tavern usually around Christmas. I know Tom had the option to book these homecoming shows in larger rooms for a bigger pay day but decided that Sportsmen’s had the vibe he liked & wanted to be a part of it.

I’ll never forget the call I got from Tom years ago. I knew he was going to be in town playing with Buddy Guy. I left him a voice mail and mentioned that we would love to see him while he was in town, if he had time. I fully expected him to not have any free time and certainly didn’t expect a return call. I just wanted to leave a message of good wishes & to say hello. In the world of touring, there is very little free time. Artists often just need to get rest and be ready to move on to the next city.

The night of the concert arrived and around 15 minutes before show time, my phone rang. Tom Hambridge was at the other end of the line and wanted to thank me for the kind words & regretfully declined my offer to stop by after the show. He also wanted me to tell the Hall-family & everyone @ the Sportsmen’s that he thinks of us often & their efforts
were making waves all over the country. Tom said this was one of many things that makes him proud to be from WNY. He informed me that I should schedule a show for him when he & his family would be in town in the not to distant future.

After the call, I thought about all of the people he might need or want to communicate with moments before he had to go on stage. To think that I was included in that list is a huge example of Tom Hambridge being humble, polite and treating everyone that crosses his path with respect.

The Sportsmen’s American Music Foundation is more that thrilled that Tom has agreed to allow us to host his first annual music fest in his hometown. The 1st annual Tom Hambridge Americana Music Festival will be held on the weekend of June 25 & 26. Please make room in your schedule to attend this event, you won’t regret the magic.

Kenny Biringer

Free Ticket Opportunities

Right at the top, I want to express our thanks to the SAM Foundation’s musical partners for the free tickets every month for our members. Tom Barone at The Tralf has stepped up every month with two or three shows. Josh Holtzman at Ironworks, Anna Kapechuck at Babeville, Clark Crook at 189 Public House and Dave Wedekindt at UB Center for the Arts have all been generous as well. Donny Kutzbach of Town Ballroom, Randy Kramer of MusicalFare Theatre and Sonia Clark of Artpark have also partnered with us on occasion and I look forward to continuing to work with all of them in the future. And of course, Dwane Hall of the Sportsmen’s Tavern has donated many different shows to SAMF members since the inception of the Foundation.

Every month, in addition to this newsletter, we publish the free ticket opportunities for members and the results on the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation Facebook page. So check out that page for a lot of musical information. Last month, Gayle Hoover won for Robbie Fulks, Kevin Cox for Eilen Jewell, Wilber James Mcburney for The Howlin’Bros and Brian Hayden for The Nighthawks, all at The Sportsmen’s Tavern. Seamus Gallivan won a pair of tickets to The Milk Carton Kids at Babeville and Bob Gallivan won for Hayes Carll at The Tralf. Gerry McCarville won for Old 97s at The Tralf and Dale Metzger won a pair to Blue Rodeo at Artpark.

Gems in a Jewell Box of the American Songbook

Review by SAMF Member, Kevin Cox

Eilen JewellEilen Jewell played the Sportsmens Tavern Sunday, May 15, for the 8th time and the place was packed up and down. The crowd had grown from her first 25 folks to this, a concert audience in size and expectation. There was not a dry eye in the house by the end. Eilen and the Sportsmen’s Tavern have grown in kind; a marriage of great venue with master songstress.

I sat upstairs with a TV screen and glimpse of the stage through the crowd. An intimate space with an intimate rocking Americana band, in Buffalo near the river listening to poetry and song. A band as good as any, with an incomparable
Guitar player, Jerry Miller.

There was a little lull, the crowd grew quiet and the band walked on to the stage to growing applause. Holstered in, tapping the cymbals, guitar fitted on, Eilen launched sweetly into “Worried Mind” off her new Album, Sundown Over Ghost Town, and then a bunch from her previous catalogue. It is pure poetry married to music and is infused with all the genres of America; blues, jazz, pop, gospel, protest, classical, and all that country. It is beautiful music, the songs catch you in reverie, the music of the band is hypnotic, and there is some serious, honest, fun, laughing, and crying going on.

The 200 plus crowd applauded loudly after the songs but were ever so silent during the performance. The Sportsmen’s can get crazy for great moves, great solos, a band song going wild. But it is an audience of reverence and we all, yes me, have seen Eilen Jewell a few times and we never forget and make a point to see her and the band again. It is a special concert every single time, and we are moved to a surf infused “Boundary County”, the rocking dance enticement “Sante Fe”, or the sweet honey sound of Billie Holiday in Eilen’s voice singing “Here With Me”. Then I heard in some crazy part of my listening mind the essence of Count Basie and Minnie the Moocher inside Jewell’s “Heartache Boulevard”. It’s like that with Americana Music, great Americana Music like this. The references bubble up to the surface, jazzy, bluesy. I heard some Cash, a bit of Lucinda Williams, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits but most of all the poetry and artistry of Eilen Jewell, writing songs on Dirty Boxcar Walls or singing about a one horse town, one horse shy.

Eilen is backed by a tight professional band with one of the best guitar players you will ever hear; Jerry Miller. Miller can and does anything on that Gitbox, smoothly, graciously; his leads makes you sit up and pay attention, and then the runs, the small melodies, the rythmn; he is the show within the show. Jason Beek on drums and Shawn Supra, upright bass, lay down the rollicking smooth foundation.

By the end of this stirring concert, the quiet respectful audience was hooting and hollering. She masterfully conducted her music which swung emotions from dancing to praying, from laughing to the melancholy of loss. Calls for encore with everyone on their feet brought Eilen back, alone, a guitar in hand to sing “Songbird”, a song about her baby Mavis, that was as sweet an ending that you will ever hear.


If you are an Active member and do not have a SAMF membership card, please email me at samusicfoundation@gmail.com. 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

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