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Sammy Brue, 21 and Touring with a Heartbreaker...

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

Sammy Brue, a rising singer songwriter from Ogden, Utah. Following the headlining act on the tour he's on, in his van around the USA. I first met Sammy a few years ago I was working the Troubeliever Music Fest in Utah, when he was but a teen. Onstage putting his music out there to be heard.

A bit about Sammy Brue...At the age of ten, Sammy started writing his own songs. So he seemed pretty clear on his path from an early age. I worked with Sammy on two Troubeleiver festivals in Utah. I saw him both with his backing band and as a solo act. Great material, lots of natutal talent, a real hunger to share his music with others, and a super nice, humble young man to boot. Very focused on his goals for such a young man.

He has toured with Marcus King, Lindsey Buckingham, and others, and now he's touring with Mike Campbell and the Dirty Knobs. Big names and older established musicians for him to learn from, nightly. And he does. He's very observant and after his 6 song set, he hangs at the merch table where he greets enthusiastic new Brue fans.

When I queued up for the recent show at 'The Independent' venue, in San Francisco, the guys behind me were discussing Sammy and The Troubeleiver Festival! What a small world. Of course I struck up a conversation and it turned out to be the sponsor of the last festival. The Troubeleiver Festival was born from two musicians that are true beleivers in music. Monty Powell, (writing partner of Keith Urban and others), and his wife Anna Wilson. Anna has recorded and performed with Grammy award-winning artists Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Rogers, Larry Carlton, Ray Price, Connie Smith and more. Together they are in a band called Troubadour 77. Anna and Monty put together this festival which spoke to budding singer/songwriters as it provided song writing workshops as part of the festival. Truely an amazing weekend experience for all. The headliners were great too, with Rodney Crowell, Emmy Lou Harris, Royal Bliss, members of Kansas, Survivor, Sammy Brue, Troubadour 77 and many more talented musicians filled the stage. Sadly, Covid has wiped out the festival for the last couple years, but I hope it will return eventually.

The Mike Campbell/Sammy Brue show was awesome. Sammy did great. Got a lot of new fans and Mike Campbell rocked the roof right off The Independant that night! Campbell played for an astounding 3 hours. He was obviously thrilled to be playing again.

After the show, Sammy walked me to my car, and made sure I was safe, like a true gentleman who has been taught well. His two sisters, both musical also and very loving and supportive parents, that met him on his next stop after Northern California at The Troubadour in Los Angeles!

I interviewed Sammy on his journey back to Utah where that night he was looking forward to sleeping in his own bed! This is how that went:

TMS: You are on your way to where now?

Sammy Brue: Boulder Colorado. But I get to sleep in my own bed tonight!

Then, I'm doing all the Texas dates until about May 1st with Mike Campbell.

TMS: You're 21, at the begininning of this possible massive career. What is it like to be young and see all the possibilities ahead of you....How does it feel to be 21 and see your path in front of you. The guys you've been touring with have pretty big names, but how does it feel to come onto a stage in front of Tom Petty fans and Fleetwood Mac fans?

Sammy Brue: Its been pretty daunting. Especially as an opener. I'm getting these amazing opportunities. I'm just trying to be ahead of the next step. I've been on tour with actual legends...These people who have played stadiums. Right now I'm in "college"...Not real college and I'm trying not to get kicked out. These tours are an education. I mean these dudes are like 70 years old they've been on the road since they were my age. I understand why they have their own green room, and their own proper tour busses. Lindsey Buckingham has two tour busses! I like that I can know its possibly that even when your 70 people come out to see you. They were essentially playing pop music back in the day. Part of me thinks I have to carry on the classic rock legacy. The music back in the day was great music. I want to make pop music but I want it to be good music as well. If Bob Dylan came out in 2022 it wouldn't have the same affect. Its all about timing. Its not the same time as it was back in the day. Times have changed. I need to keep my music up to date. I have to carve out my own little piece of the music. It's not about throwing TVs out the window anymore. Its about being professional in my daily life and how to present myself.

TMS: Also theres a lot to be said about fantastic opening artists. I saw Bob Dylan in 1987 at the Wembely Arena in London. He was terrible (in my opinion)...but, the opener was awesome! And the opener was a little band called, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. That's the band I came away loving after that show.

Sammy Brue: I was talking to a guy and he said that there was a guy who got booed off the stage. That guy was Jimi Hendrix. He was playing metal or something. But it was so cool that the guy I was talking to actually got to see Hendrix. Its all about timing. I'm happy nobody has booed me off the stage. Everyone has just got to find their place in the music world. As I am doing.

TMS: When did you start playing?

Sammy Brue: When i was 11. I started writing and performing a few. At first, I did a Gillian Welch and Bob Dylan cover. Miss Ohio, Knocking on Heavens Door and one of my originals. I was so nervous i was looking at the wall. But i was only 11. I knew what I wanted to do for the most part. Before it was music, it was tennis. I just connected to music. And theres people around me that are supportive and help me make it happen. That helps.

TMS: Whats your favourite part of touring?

Sammy Brue: I think just soaking it all in and realizing the possibilities.

Before Lindsey Buckingham I went on tour with the Marcus King Band. A younger artist...they're doing good now. They'd tell me just keep working and you'll be here.

TMS: What was it like working with Marcus King? I'm a big fan of his, and hes more your age.

Sammy Brue: Ye I saw him make up a song on stage. He just really missed his GF and sang about that feeling on stage, on the fly. I was blown away. And Marcus would ask me on stage to sing a song with him. A Neil Young song everynight...before the last song of the night, i got to sing with Marcus. He's a next level artist. He told me, "you're like a cute Ed Sheeran!"

TMS: Its not a bad thing being a cute American Ed Sheeran!

Sammy Brue: The audiences that come out for these "older rocker" shows, and the people who came up to you after the show, they seemed to give you a great reception. These people have been playing guitar for three times as long as I've been born. So i just close my eyes and let it happen. When I'm on stage solo i have to get in a certain headspace. It's esier with a band.

TMS: What was it like playing The Troubadour?

Sammy Brue: The Troubadour...Of course I've been thinking about playing there for a long time. Its special. It really just makes me think of how I'm gonna sell this place on my own as the headliner. Whats that gonna look like. Who will walk in here when Sammy Brue is playing. Its an honor to play The Troubadour. I've been trying to find a good balance of living in the moment. And whats it going to look like when I headline The Troubadour.

TMS: Well in 1970 when Elton John played there he was unknown. And then he broke out! So keep on and hopefully you'll get there too!

Sammy Brue: The Buckingham tour was rigid. No jamming. No unplanned stuff. It was all like routine clockwork. But with Campbell they asked me to throw a couple more songs in! Mike Campbell is the opposite of Buckingham. He just does what he feels like. He doesn't stick to the setlist at all.

TMS: At the moment...90 minute sets are the norm. I was surprised that Campbell played for three hours!!!

TMS: Who is your fave artist? I know it can change daily.

Sammy Brue: Thats a crazy question. Avett Bros, Old Crow Medicine Show and Justin Townes Earl. Newer bands, but they have their own twist on the old stuff. And thats what I want to do with my music.

TMS: If someone is curious as to who your music sounds like, what would you say?

Sammy Brue: I've been told my music sounds like if Jake Bugg was American. My genre may be considered Indie Folk.

TMS: I think you are right. I love Jake Bugg...and yes I agree.

TMS: Great talking to you Sammy. I look forward to the next time we work together again. Hi to your Dad, Mike and your buddy, Rich.

Watch out for Sammy Brue. This emerging singer songwriter from Utah...maybe opening, or headlining at a venue near you.

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