When Sam Doores turned 17 he bought an old guitar, wrote his family a letter, and left home with the dream of following his hero's Woody Guthrie, Ray Charles, Hank Williams, and Townes Van Zandt's footsteps.
After a year of traveling and performing solo all around the States and Europe Sam eventually hooked up with fellow freight-hopping, hitch-hiking street musicians down in New Orleans - picking up songs, styles and different instruments from his new friends and teachers. In the past five years in New Orleans Sam has performed and busked in the streets and clubs with a variety of bands such as Hurray for the RIff Raff, Sundown Songs, G-String family Orchestra, Sour Mash Hug Band, Church Rag, The Wasted Lives, & the Loose Marbles.
Influenced by early gospel, country-blues, Irish rebel ballads & 50's rock n' roll, and traditional New Orleans Jazz, this past year Sam put together a new band of local musicians called "Sam Doores & the Tumbleweeds". They're reputation has spread like wildfire since they first started performing less than a year ago. They can effectively write & belt/croon out anything from hard driving rock n' roll songs to a beautiful country ballad. Their songs are timeless and authentically, unmistakably American ... not patriotic... but belonging to the 'old weird America'.
This past summer they preformed at the Woody Guthrie festival in Oklahoma as well as the Hillside festival, Whispering Beard, black fly ball, and Merliton festival, where their raw talent, unique yet familiar sound, and unlikely youth left a lasting impression.
Although they perform mostly their own material, when asked where they get their inspiration they don't hesitate t point to "the old singers and traditional songs that give our whole situation some context..." and when asked where they intend to take it, they just chuckle and say "hopefully our new songs can just pick up where those old-timers left off..." In many ways, I believe they have.
- Harlow Brown
Riley Downing - Guitar, harp, & Vocals, Jug
Dan Cutler - Vocals, Bass
Tony Frickey - Drums, Percussion
Matt Bell - Vocals, Lead Guitar, Lapsteel
Sam Doores - Vocals, Guitar, Piano, organ, harp
"The Paul Revere Tapes" -(Sam Doores's first live album)
"Heavenly Highway Hymns" - (his first e.p. he uses as a demo).
"The tumbleweeds" - (pre-release first full length.)
"WWOZ" - (New Orleans's Jazz & Heritage Station)
"fearless radio" - chicago
College radio - maddison
KOWA - Olympia, WA (live performance on Hobo Radio)
"Pirate Cat Radio" - (live from San Francisco)
Emerging artists shine at WoodyFest
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July 11, 2008 Along with featuring established folk and Red Dirt musicians like Jimmy LaFave, Ell...July 11, 2008
Along with featuring established folk and Red Dirt musicians like Jimmy LaFave, Ellis Paul and Country Joe McDonald, the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival provides an excellent showcase for emerging talents.
Among the scene-stealing youths were the trio Broken Wing Routine, the final act to play Thursday on the Brick Street Cafe's basement stage. The group got the festival-goers' heads bobbing and got a few people up to dance as they started off with a pair of old-fashioned folksy jams, "I Got Found" and "John Henry."
Band members Cameron Snyder, Ben Ziakin and Sam Doores not only sounded like they could jam with Guthrie, they were dressed in faded jeans and overalls, sleeveless T-shirts and beat-up hats. They looked ready to ride the rails at any moment.
Despite their rumpled appearance, the guys represented "a Horatio Alger, rags-to-riches story," as Snyder put it.
The trio showed up at last year's WoodyFest and were playing on the sidewalk outside the Crystal Theatre on Sunday during the annual Hoot for Huntington's. According to the festival program, they were invited in to cool off and play, and they brought the house down.
Sipping Shiner Bock between songs during their set Thursday, the guys referred to their actually getting an official time slot at the fest.
"This is our first time playing the festival in an official capacity. Las year, we were just playing on the street," said Ziakin.
"This year, we actually made it into the building," Doores said with a grin.
The band certainly warrants the move up. They are skilled musicians and singers, crooning in perfect harmony and playing several instruments, including acoustic guitar, banjo, harmonica, tambourine, bongos and upright bass.
They wrote all 11 songs in their set except for "John Henry" and their closer, the slow, mournful-sounding "I've Got to Know," an unrecorded Guthrie song.
Woody's Celebration this weekend
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Front page feature, October 2nd, 2009: "Saturday afternoon, Charles Henry with the folk music cente...Front page feature, October 2nd, 2009:
"Saturday afternoon, Charles Henry with the folk music center will introduce Sam Doores, who is carrying on Guthrie's tradition of a traveling troubadour... Doores will be the featured entertainer next weekend, Bray said.
"Doores met Annie Guthrie, Woody Guthrie's great-niece, at the center last year during the annual celebration", Thomas said.
Thomas said that when Doores first showed up in pampa two years ago, he stopped by the folk music center and introduced himself.
"he said, 'Hi, I sing.'" Thomas laughed.
So many young men come through the front door and say that, Thomas asked to hear something, not expecting much,
"he sat over there and sang, and I about fell over off the chair," Thomas said.
Tim Justice, another board member had heard Doores at the Woody Guthrie celebration earlier that summer at Okemah, Oklahoma.
"Tim told us about him," Thomas said, "but I didn't realize it was the same person."
Thomas said Echols heard him and Bray heard him and within a week they had him in a recording studio.
"He was so good," Thomas said.
Annie Guthrie took Doores to her father, Arlo Guthrie, where Doores spent Thanksgiving.
"He performed for the thanksgiving meal at Alice's Restaurant and spent the night at Arlo Guthrie's home up there," Thomas said.
"Doors are opening for him," Bray said of Doores, "because he has the talent."
Road trip to ‘Woody Fest' includes museum stop here
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Front page feature, July 9, 2008 When Cameron, Samuel and Ben take to the stage this year at Wood...Front page feature, July 9, 2008
When Cameron, Samuel and Ben take to the stage this year at Woody Fest in Okemah, Okla., it will be after soaking up some Woody Guthrie atmosphere in Pampa.
The trio of musicians plans on being in Okemah, birthplace of Woody Guthrie, for the annual summer music festival dedicated to their native son. The festival is held each year on the weekend nearest Guthrie's birthday, July 14. It's a birthday that Samuel shares with his musical hero.
Cameron Snyder, Samuel Doores and Benjamin Ziakin have spent the past few days in Pampa, practicing, jamming and recording, before moving on to Okemah.
"We actually get to play on stage this year," said Samuel. "Last year we just played on the street."
"It's a giant party," said Cameron.
Most everybody stays at a campground, he said, and at the campground there are a couple of large tents for jam sessions.
"You play until six o'clock in the morning," Ben said. "By nine o'clock in the morning, it's too hot to sleep, so you get up and play some more."
"There are some brilliant musicians there," Samuel said.
The three 21-year-olds, Samuel will turn 22 in Okemah, came to Woody Guthrie by different roads, but their enthusiasm for his music is mutual.
Their journey to Pampa began last year, like Guthrie's, in Okemah.
It was there that they met Tim Justice, a member of the board of directors for the Woody Guthrie Folk Music Center here in Pampa. He told them about Pampa and Guthrie's connection to the Texas Panhandle town.
"We took a road trip from Washington through California through Nevada and Arizona," Samuel said, "and ended up in Okemah, and Tim told us about this place."
While Cameron and Ben went on to Austin last summer, Samuel came to Pampa and spent a couple of weeks.
"I've never been treated so kindly in my life," Samuel said.
When Samuel told Ben and Cameron about his trip to Pampa, the three of them decided to come to the panhandle before heading to Okemah this year.
Cameron got here on July 1. Ben and Samuel got here on the Fourth.
They've been recording an album in the back room of the folk music center.
"It's been really exciting recording where Woody learned to play the guitar.
The Woody Guthrie Folk Music Center is housed in what was Shorty Harris' drugstore in the 1920s and 1930s when Guthrie lived in Pampa.
It was while working in the drugstore that Guthrie found an old guitar in the back room of the store and his uncle taught him to play it. The slight young man went on to become a legend in American folk music, not only writing and performing songs that reflected the Depression and Dust Bowl of his early years, but inspire the next generation including Robert Allen Zimmerman (who took the stage name Bob Dylan) from Duluth, Minn. Now a new generation of 21-year-olds has discovered Guthrie's music.
"We are honored to have them here," said Thelma Bray, founder of Pampa's Tribute to Woody Guthrie.
Samuel calls New Orleans home now. Cameron is from Bainbridge, Wash. Ben is from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Cameron and Ben went to school together in Bainbridge. Ben met Samuel at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.
Samuel was working at an ice cream shop in Fairfax, Calif., and playing drums in a band at night when he was first introduced to Guthrie's music.
"I saw Rambling Jack Elliott," Samuel said. "He was right next door to the ice cream shop where I was working."
After hearing Rambling Jack Elliott play some of Guthrie's standards, Samuel said he went a bought a copy of 'Bound for Glory,' Guthrie's autobiography.
"As soon as I read 'Bound for Glory,'" Samuel said, "it was over."
He bought a guitar and was no his way. Prior to that he played drums and piano in gospel groups.
Cameron, growing up in Washington State, said he had always been aware of Guthrie's music.
He elementary music class used to sing Guthrie's songs, particularly 'Roll on Columbia' about the Columbia River.
Of his own interests, Cameron was studying jazz on the saxophone at nine years of age and bass at 10. He later taught himself to piano and guitar and a myriad of other instruments, including the harmonica.
Ben said he distinctly remembers singing 'Roll on Columbia' in elementary school.
"I never really understood the significance of Woody Guthrie until I took my first real American road trip and started playing his songs," Ben said.
He said that when he played Guthrie's songs, people were incredibly moved by them.
"I couldn't help but be moved," Ben said.
That was only a year ago.
"That was when I started realizing the power of Woody Guthrie," he said.
Ben said Guthrie's influence has given him direction in his life.
"I mostly just play banjo with this group," Ben said. "I'm a guitarist first and foremost, but I'm working with two great guitarists."
"Ben's got the fancy fingers in the group," Samuel said.
An intimate evening with Sam Doores and the Tumbleweeds
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The evening began on a shit-kicking hatchet swing of pure hillbilly adrenaline with Sam Doores & The...The evening began on a shit-kicking hatchet swing of pure hillbilly adrenaline with Sam Doores & The Tumbleweeds. Instantly the place burned with dancing drunks aplenty, their bodies gyrating and thrashing with a blatant, even outwardly hostile, disregard for the personal space of those around them. Many a drink was spilled, and many a courtship ritual squandered, I’m sure, but the show was such a high, manic thrill as to make all that in retrospect seem terribly moot…on songs like Depression Blues or Throw Another Cap In the Fire, Mr. Doores voice, that wonderful metallic Hank Williams twang of his, cut clear through the microphone like a zap of lightning, the others (being Riley Downing, Dan Cutler, Tony Fricky, and Matt Bell, respectively) romping and stomping (hootin’ and hollerin’!) behind him. Part-way through the set, they were joined on-stage by none other than “America’s Favorite Yodeling Pervert”: Brody Douglas Hunt…a keen wordsmith with a voice like a bucket of tar, he complimented the band quite appropriately, pulling the audience up by the collar and knocking them on down again in anticipation of the evening’s headliner: Hurray For the Riff Raff.
With S O N G B I R D etched across her knuckles, acoustic guitar strapped and strangled in her tiny arms, Alynda lee Segarra spat into her microphone like it was a fumbling opponent, her sandy timbre pumping the swollen mob before her full to the brim with piss and vinegar. She seems to play music almost as an act of sheer defiance – and I mean that in a most complimentary sense. With a larger band than I’ve previously witnessed backing her up, she got to go full tilt this time around…and while this may have displaced some of the most appealing aspects of her more intimate stage persona, let me just say that she completely owned her set and proved herself to be a performer of great presence and command. She can lilt and yelp with the best of them, and it is with full confidence that I predict the only direction this girl is headed is straight to the top.
Both The Tumbleweeds and Hurray For the Riff Raff play regularly around town. If you don’t take the time to seek them out, the only one you’re cheating is yourself.
no mama blues
this mornin i was born again
wrong time to be right
blues in heaven
alternate songs :
there it goes
simple and true
blind boy blues
I Got Found
Pastures of Grace
Red Leaf Rag
Song To Butch
Out On The Rise
Low Lonesome Low
Talkin' Gun Shop Blues
Blues in Heaven
What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?
Rolling Hills of The Border
When I Met Jim
Bang a Drum
Talkin' Passive Aggressive Massacre Disaster Blues
Walk On Boy
No Depression in Heaven
I've Got to Know
Waitin for a string
Roll on John
a daily growin'
i'm so glad
time rolls swiftly by me
Great Balls of Fire
Won't that be a happy Time?,
Most of Woody Guthrie's songs,
There are no upcoming dates at this time.