Les Sampou
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Les Sampou


Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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"Les Sampou: A Bold New Sound"

"Les Sampou rocks. And she rocks in a big way on her new self-titled CD "Les Sampou". To say that it's her breakthrough recording is simply not praise enough. It's creating excitement in every corner of the acoustic music community, from the Tin Angel, to the Birchmere, to the Boston Herald, to Baltimore radio. I'll say it again. This woman rocks! - MUSIC MATTERS REVIEW

"Sampou is the Real Thing"

"Never a disappointment. A cross between Rory Block, Michelle Shocked and Bonnie Raitt, the New England-based Les Sampou delivers yet another solid album. Sampou, an acoustic steel string and slide artist, combines self-penned songs along with renditions of mainly Mississippi blues, on this CD. While Melissa Etheridge may have made a deal with the devil for fame and fortune, the financially poorer Sampou is the real thing. On this, her fourth release, she delves into the history of the deep South with only her strongly interpretive voice and superb guitar work. Borrowed & Blue , recorded live in six days, is an illustration of acoustic blues by an artist in command of the genre explored. The solo Sampou captivates with her own original work as well as gems by Fred McDowell, Willie McTell and Bessie Smith, along with others. " - DIRTY LINEN

"A Morning Size Case of the Blues"

"Borrowed & Blue is the CD Les Sampou's fans always hoped she'd make. Armed only with her guitar, searing mezzo, and a Monday-morning-size case of the blues, she delivers a solo set of folk blues. She takes classics by Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, Mississippi John Hurt, and Bob Dylan, reinventing and reinvigorating them until they fit her style like a tight pair of jeans; and her own tunes crackle with modern sensibility." - BOSTON GLOBE

"Merging Depth with Flamboyance"

"If rock and roll singing is about attitude and contemporary folk is about feelings, then a blues-based singer-songwriter needs to be about both. With her new album, "Fall from Grace", Les Sampou has become one of those rare figures on the scene who merges depth with flamboyance. She combines true blues heat with a poet's expressiveness. "Fall from Grace" is a thrilling step forward. The commanding vocals and sinewy sound are immediate pleasures. The songs tell tales, reveal tough thoughts and turn terse phrases in a natural flow." - THE BOSTON HERALD

"Sampou At the Height of her Powers"

“Lonesomeville” captures Sampou at the height of her powers. This is a finely detailed set of songs that lean on the blues and injected with more than a bit of rock ‘n’ roll. This is a lady who sings with fire and soul and who can shake you in your boots or break your heart with her lucid and muscular guitar playing. If you see that lonesome highway, one of the quickest ways to stem the melancholy is to pop this in the CD player, turn it up and forget to look back. “ Ken Capobianco, contributing writer Cape Cod Times.

“Skip the American Idol pyrotechnics and hear a singer who knows how to wring the meaning and emotion out of a song... Sampou’s singing is all you’d want, alternately sassy and seductive or contemplative and regretful. ” Rich Eldred, The Cape Codder.

- Cape Cod Times

"Les Sweeps You Off Your Feet"

Les is back, and she's back with a fervor and a passion that sweeps you off your feet. It has been a long absence. We have waited nine long years since her last recording, 2001's Borrowed and Blue (here). And she does not disappoint.
Lonesomeville is an Americana mix of blues and soul-tinged country. There is plenty of loving—hard loving, soft loving, lustful loving—in all kinds of places and spaces—on a train, in bed, on the road, and on the sly.
And then there is the voice—sometimes tough, sometimes tender, and sometimes only rough around the edges. Les has a special affinity for the blues. And she writes them as if she's lived every last line. The stories come alive in a bluesy caress backed by that inimitable slide guitar.
So what about the songs? The recording opens with the thrilling My My My, which grabs you by the throat and never lets go: "then he caught me/oh he caught me/fought me to the bitter end." There's no separating the girl in the song from the hot-blooded passion she craves. And there's no separating the listener from the melody. Who would want to leave this kind of groove, all bluesy and sexy and alive? It is that kind of tune.
Les surrounds herself with some of the Boston area's best musicians: Kevin Barry (Mary Chapin Carpenter; Paula Cole) on guitar, Paul Kochanski (Swinging Steaks) on bass, Andy Plaisted (The Giant Kings) on drums and percussion, Mike Dinallo (The Radio Kings) on guitars, Jimmy Ryan on mandolin, and David Ogden and Mark Cunningham on backing vocals. This band of musicians strut their stuff on the driving percussion and guitar-laden sound of Long Hard Train. It's a musical tour de force. Les's voice begins as a sultry purr and rises to the beat of the train pounding the tracks.
Lonesomeville sits at the heart of the recording. Here love places one in a quandary—you can quench your thirst for it, or break your heart in the process. Les's sexy vocals walk the tightrope with equally scintillating accompaniment on electric guitar by Kevin Barry. Lonesomeville is looking like a place one could live in for a while…
Sam & Alice is a country rocker, telling the story of a couple's love, which takes them "around the bed on all four sides." Jimmy Ryan on mandolin is simply magnificent.
The recording ends with the bedtime prayer, As I Sleep. And what a glorious way to fall asleep as Les's voice caresses the lyrics, "free at last, free at last."
Lonesomeville takes us through lonely hotel rooms, long, hard train rides, honky tonk highways and the bedrooms of hard living lovers. The lucky listener gladly goes along, following Les Sampou on this journey, getting lost in the sexy sway of her voice, and in the tales of love and lovers along the way. Lonesomeville delivers the very best of Les Sampou. Country and blues have never been to luscious and deeply satisfying to listen to. Les hits a bull's eye in the land of lonesome; in the land of love.

by Roberta B. Schwartz

- Acoustic Music Exchange

"Sampou Soars"

"On her long-awaited fifth album, 'Lonesomeville,' Les Sampou soars over a bracing set of sly, lived-in songs about mismatched lives, hard goodbyes, and honky tonk heartbreak. With a tough and tender voice that can be every bit as stinging or sultry as her slide guitar, Sampou deftly mixes bluesy soul with country twang and down-to-earth storytelling. All of which makes 'Lonesomeville' not such a bad place to be after all -- especially if she's playing there."

-- Jonathan Perry, Boston Globe "Scene & Heard" columnist

- Boston Globe


Lonesomeville - 2010 (MoNando Records)
Borrowed & Blue - 2002 (MoNando Records)
Les Sampou - 1999 (Rounder Records)
Fall From Grace - 1996 (Rounder Records) (Charted #17 nationwide, Americana)
Sweet Perfume - 1993 (MoNando Records)



Les Sampou’s music career has spanned five recordings and countless listening rooms, bars, and festivals, as well as over several hundred thousand miles of road, where along the way she was picked up by Rounder Records. Les, with her big voice, big guitar, and smart, sexy lyrics grabs your attention playing as a solo act or with a band. Les has played Montreal Jazz Festival, Kerrville Texas Folk Festival (where she won the coveted New Folk Award for songwriting), numerous appearances at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Toronto Blues Festival and Falcon Ridge. She has conducted workshops at Berklee School of Music and appeared on the top syndicated radio programs such as Acoustic Cafe, World Cafe and NPR.

After a sabbatical leaving more than a half dozen years between releases, Les Sampou is back with her 2010 independent release "Lonesomeville.” "Hot is the understatement of the year for this release! It’s fu%king great!" Troy Tyree, WCUW.

For Complete Bio Go to: http://www.lessampou.com/bio.cfm

Notable Venues:
Tin Angel - Philadelphia, Pa.
World Cafe - Philadelphia, Pa.
Bottom Line - New York City, N.Y.
Sanders Theatre - Boston, Ma.
Club Passim Cambridge, Ma.
Eddie's Attic - Atlanta, Ga.
Fiddle & Bow Society - Winston-Salem, N.C.
Tupelo Music Hall, Londonderry, NH
The Bitter End, NYC

Noteable Festivals:
Montreal Jazz Festival
Toronto Blues Festival
Winnipeg Folk Festival
Philadelphia Folk Festival
Apple Farm Folk Festival
Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
Kerrville Folk Festival (winner if New Folk Songwriting Contest)
Strawberry Folk Festival
Boston Folk Festival

Notable Talent Les Performed with:
Lee Ann Rimes
Keb Mo
Robert Cray
Colin Hay
Pat Benetar
Richard Thompson
Ani DeFranco
Jonathan Edwards
Shawn Colvin
Robert Cray
J. Geils Band
Greg Brown
Kathy Mattea
Livingston Taylor
Dave Van Ronk
Chris Smither
Cheryl Wheeler
Patty Larkin
Rory Block
Northern Lights
John Hammond Jr.
Koko Taylor
Maria Muldaur
Melanie (Safka)
and many more......

Booking Contact:
Tracey Delfino

Radio Promotion: Al Moss Promotions, Nashville, TN; http://www.almosspromotion.com/