The Samples embark on fall tour

Legendary jam rock band The Samples have been crisscrossing the country the last few years in support of their latest release, Rehearsing For Life.  And after celebrating a 20-year anniversary in 2006, The Samples also show no signs of slowing down, as along the way they have become known as one of the greatest live bands anywhere.  Later this month The Samples will hit the road for a 45-date fall tour with almost no days off, taking them from the Midwest to the Southeast and back to their home base of the Northeast again.

Lead vocalist/guitarist Sean Kelly remains the front man for The Samples, and he’s joined by keyboardist Karl Dietel; bassist Jared Johnson; drummer Bill Mutchler; and new guitarist Mike Montrey (who replaces Dan Blondin).

A band that had a small taste of major label life a decade ago, The Samples are still a band that makes its living and grows its fan base on the road.  Kelly reflects on the major label thing with a shrug.  “It’s getting to be a little blurry,” he admits, seventeen years after that initial grab for the brass ring. “That was a long time ago. (Major labels) are such a small part of my career.” 

And while it’s a well-honed urban legend that the only way to experience the Samples is in the live arena – where, let’s be honest, they are pretty awesome – it’s only half the experience. Once you’ve factored in studio albums, compilation albums, and official live releases, you’re at eighteen discs and rising…and that’s including Rehearsing for Life, on Apache Records.

1997’s Transmissions from the Sea of Tranquility, The Samples’ first live album, has been described as “a staple of musically-hip college students everywhere during the late '90s,” while Kelly’s personally fond of the more recent Live in Colorado, which emerged in 2004.

Through it all, The Samples have always been the type of band that is difficult to pin down stylistically.  Kelly admits that, frankly, he’s probably the last person to whom you’d want to pose that question. “You’d really have to ask a fan,” he says. “I honestly can’t tell you what the Samples’ sound is. I can tell you what it’s not, though. It’s not cheap. It’s not synthetic. And it’s definitely not lacking in soul or spirit or passion.”

For more information, please visit

Tour Dates:

9/22: Bowling Green, OH @ Howard’s Club H

9/23: Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall

9/25: Kansas City, MO @ The Crossroads

9/26: Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room

9/27: Mankato, MN @ What’s Up Lounge

9/28: Minneapolis, MN @ The Cabooze

9/29: Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall

9/30: Eau Claire, WI @ Stones Throw

10/3: Newport, KY @ Southgate House

10/4: Lafayette, IN @ Lafayette Brewing Company

10/5: Normal, IL @ Normal UltraLounge

10/6: Bloomington, IN @ Bluebird Nightclub

10/7: Cleveland Heights, OH @ The Grog Shop

10/9: Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Café

10/10: Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark

10/11: Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection

10/12: Chicago, IL @ Martyr’s

10/13: Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Company

10/15: Lexington, KY @ The Dame

10/16: Nashville, TN @ 3rd and Lindsley

10/17: Knoxville, TN @ Barley’s Taproom

10/18: Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle

10/19: Columbia, SC @ Headliners Music Hall

10/20: Savannah, GA @ Locos

10/23: Jacksonville Beach, FL @ Freebird Live

10/24: Tallahasse, FL @ Floyd’s Music Store

10/25: Orlando, FL @ The Social

10/26: St. Petersburg, FL @ Tamiami at Jannus Landing

10/27: Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ The Culture Room

10/28: Fort Myers, FL @ Yabo Restaurant

10/31: Augusta, GA @ The Mission

11/1:  Charleston, SC @ The Pour House

11/2:  Raleigh, NC @ The Pour House

11/3:  Charlotte, NC @ Visulite

11/4:  Charlottesville, VA @ Gravity Lounge

11/5:  Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head Tavern

11/6:  Philadelphia, PA @ World Café Live

11/7: Ridgewood, NJ @ Blend Bar

11/8: Arlington, VA @ IOTA

11/9: Baltimore, MD @ 8 x 10

11/10: New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom

11/13: Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall

11/15: Milford, CT @ Daniel Street

11/16: Cambridge, MA @ Middle East

11/17: Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground