For as much as Sammy Rae & The Friends may be a band, this collective of, dreamers, and artists considers itself a family first.
Fronted by singer and songwriter Sammy Rae, the group flourishes in any spotlight with a combination of all-for-one and one-for-all camaraderie, palpable chemistry, deft virtuosity, and vocal fireworks. Their sound is a mélange of Sammy’s influences, rooted in classic rock, folk, and funk and sprinkled with soul and jazz. Complete with a rhythm section, horn section, keyboards, and two backup singers, Sammy Rae & The Friends have or will deliver their high-energy, spirited and unrestrained shows to sold-out audiences in the Northeast and beyond, including New York City’s Brooklyn Steel, Boston’s The Royal, LA the Teregram, Burlington’s Higher Ground, and Chicago’s Lincoln Hall.
“Because we come from so many different spaces and studies of music, we’re able to create something very unique,” Sammy states. “We learn from one another as we’re playing together. We’re grateful to have found people who speak the same language, but also speak their own. We have a vision for longevity. The only way that works is if we behave as a family. We’re all very grateful to have the support of one another. This is a large group of people where everyone plays an important role. It’s the lunch table I always wanted as a kid.”
Sammy Rae & The Friends built this kind of trust one show at a time. As the story goes, our fearless leader grew up in Derby, CT, learned piano, and penned her first crop of songs at just 12-years-old. Under the spell of everyone from Queen to Ella Fitzgerald to Bruce Springsteen, she honed her voice. By high school, she cut her teeth in local venues, even releasing a series of independent solo records before college. New York eventually called to the songstress as she enrolled in Manhattan College during 2013. Toughing it out tooth and nail in The Big Apple, she left college in 2014 to pursue music full-time and threw down at countless gigs while continuing to write and record at a prolific pace. At the same time, crowds doubled with every rapturous performance as they built an inclusive safe space for fans everywhere.
Meanwhile, they’ve racked up over 20 million streams on Spotify and have played festivals along The Revivalists, Lake Street Dive, ST Paul and The Broken Bones, and more.
The unit only grew stronger.
The band advocates for the importance of their community. Avid music fans themselves, they pride themselves on this original grass-roots, word-of-mouth growth. The Friends is their community of followers, artists and creatives who help in the creation of their songs and sustenance of the project—their mixing engineer, band photographer, graphic designer, budget manager, and everyone who hangs around the shows supporting the vision. Shows are safe spaces to feel overwhelmed with love and acceptance. “Friends” in the audience are encouraged to dress how they like, dance how they like, join the party and form person-to-person Friendships. Sammy Rae & The Friends shows are like a house party, a church of rock and roll, and shot in the arm of affirmation of individuality.
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