BLUES & BARBECUE: featuring GOOD ROCKING SAM & SCOTT SAWYER

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GOOD ROCKING SAM
Good Rocking Sam has been writing and performing blues and rhythm and blues music for the better part of 16 years and has self-produced 3 CD’s. Our members are from all over the country but each of us found our way to the Triangle area of NC many years ago and we are proud to call this home.

Good Rocking Sam is an amalgam of styles; a synthesis of old school and contemporary – Deep blues with modern roots! We studied the blues greats at Chicago’s Chess Records, and got soulful with Memphis’ Stax Records. We dined on New Orleans gumbo and enjoyed some Texas swing too. Lately we’re employing a little Motown and even some jazzier sounds. Put it together and you have Good Rocking Sam!

Good Rocking Sam was the brainchild of Mike Conway, who hails from Detroit Michigan. Mike is our ever encouraging band leader. He also serves as chief songwriter, and as lead guitarist he can play with the subtlety of one King and the ferocity of another King. David Sword grew up in the mountains of Virginia. He is a quintessential blues shouter from days of old, and he also serves as the band’s drummer laying down that old school beat. Chuck Taylor’s bass playing has a groove so deep you can’t help but move your elbows and wiggle your hips. He also sings pitch perfect harmonies and contributes some leads vocals. Chuck grew up in Montana and then studied music and learned recording in the Northeast. From Kansas City, David Mozier also migrated to the east coast before settling in the Triangle. He plays Hammond organ in the style of Booker T and considers Spooner Oldham a musical influence on keys. He is also a song-writer and singer.

More than the sum of our parts, we strive to be in service to “the Song.” Good Rocking Sam seeks to write high quality songs with the brevity of the masters – no blues/rock jam music here.

SCOTT SAWYER
Scott Sawyer displays his musical diversity like a badge of honor. He continues to explore the jazz traditions & beyond, but labeling Sawyer as “just jazz” is like appreciating only one color from the palette of a master painter. The deep blues shade every note Sawyer plays. He bends the strings, hesitates, surges and slurs, dipping the music into the dirty water of some mythical Delta.

He’s performed at major festivals, concert halls, and beer-soaked dives here and abroad (Asia, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Europe, and the Middle East) including Monterey Jazz Festival (CA), Herbst Jazz Festival (Austria), St. Lucia Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz, 2002 Silde Jazz (Norway), Ottawa Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, Berlin Chamber Music Hall (Germany), the Blue Note (NYC), Joe’s Pub (NYC), Catalina Jazz Club (LA).

Born in Chicago, Sawyer was introduced to jazz and other music at an early age via his father’s record collection, which included recordings by John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, Lou Rawls, and Nancy Wilson. But in the beginning, it was the music of Jimi Hendrix and other blues musicians including Mike Bloomfield, Son Seals, Buddy Guy, Paul Butterfield, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson that inspired Scott to seriously pursue music. By the time he landed in Greensboro, NC as a junior in high school, Scott had lived in Texas, Maine, and Chicago-land. Already immersed in the Chicago blues, he was exposed to Southern roots music and blues; eventually fusion and then jazz became a priority. Guitarist Jim Hall got his attention and sparked a deeper interest in jazz guitar. He landed a regular gig in Greensboro at “Sammy’s” with vibraphonist Jon Metzger and bassist Charles Dungey, that lasted a couple of years. He performed regularly in Chapel Hill at the Pyewacket Jazz Series from 1984-1996. He’s been a prominent member of the NC jazz scene for 30 years.