Sam Cline
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Sam Cline

Band Blues Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Playing His Own Style"

by Chad Frey
Education and Family Issues Reporter

It sounds like the lyrics of an old Western song -- a young man sitting on his front porch in a rodeo town learning to play guitar.

But Sam Cline doesn't play country. He plays his own style, influenced by folk rock, blues and a host of others.

"I draw influence from classic artists like (Bob) Dylan," Cline said. "I blend all the genres together but remain true to acoustic guitar. It's lyrically based, nothing too flashy. I put a lot into it."

Music is his passion. It's what steered him away from enrolling in college right after high school.

"I just could not keep quiet," Cline said. "I had to pursue this."

The 23-year-old from Pretty Prairie will play at Mokas, 701 N. Main Street, from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

It's something different to do -- and listen to -- this weekend as the MAYB tournament gets into full swing.

"If you want to relax, it won't be anything strenuous," Cline said. "It's relaxing. It's a good alternative to basketball and life in general."

Mokas will have live music every Saturday night in June. Equinox will play June 18 and Trevor Stewart June 25. Mokas also will have jazz from 7 to 9 p.m. Mondays and the Argonauts of the Air June 17.

Cline said this is not his first foray into the live music scene in Newton -- and he's looking forward to his return.

"A couple of years ago I played the Spartan when it was where Mokas is now," Cline said. "I liked the atmosphere. It was a cool venue."

Cline has a three-hour set list on his Web site, nearly all of it original material. He plays guitar and harmonica.

His current calendar includes dates in Hutchinson, Wichita and Pittsburg.

"Anyplace around here that has live original music is a good thing," cline said. "We need more things like that around here."

Cline has two self-produced CDs available for order and is currently working on his third. He's targeting a release of this summer for his new work.

But it's the live show he thrives on.

"I just want people to come out and have a good time," Cline said. "There is something about live music that can bring people together and take them to different places. There is something special about that." - The Newton Kansan


The Latest Passing Fashion (take two)-2004 independent release
newmorningsundown-2003 independent release


Feeling a bit camera shy


Intro to the sound…
It’s not “classic folk-rock-bar blues-r&b-radio pop-new country or old soul”—it’s a cacophony of it all. “A simple symphony of sound” that’s been bruised together to strike a deep nerve and dance with the silence until it’s heard. It will take some people back—some people forward—while others won’t know where to go. It’s been influenced and inspired by many artists and delivers it’s message with an honesty that bares it all until there’s no place left to hide. Life is approached with an open mind, exposed and vulnerable—no fluff. Just heart and soul. Straight to the point—from the “gut wrenching” to the “lift me higher halleluiah.”

History of the music...
Sam learned three chords, a song called “Deep Elem Blues,” on the front porch in late spring 1998. By the following year, he was writing songs, mainly in the alt-rock-grunge style. Uncle Peter’s Overcoat (UPO) formed that same year performing local shows for small crowds. By the summer of 2000, Sam began exploring the folk-blues-bluegrass-alt- country side of the sound that sent him in a solo direction; UPO disbanded. Sam moved to Columbia MO where he performed at open mics. After a stint in the insurance business where his music was secondary, Sam decided he had neglected it enough and returned to his home town of Pretty Prairie, KS early in 2001.

A brief resurrection of UPO was attempted, but to no avail. During that time, Sam met Joe Foster, lead singer and songwriter for The Purple Lemons. After one jam session, the Lemons asked Sam to join. He accepted and began splitting lead vocal duty as well as songwriting with Joe. It was a short appearance to be made, though, as The Purple Lemons would soon falter in the throws of creative differences, dedication issues, and all that classic fall out type of talk. Out of the disintegration, Sam and Joe continued to jam together regularly and formed the acoustic duo of Commoner. They played originals consisting of folk-roots music, blues, and rock.. Commoner played local gigs regularly, finding a fan base in Wichita KS, where they frequented Kirby’s Beer Store opening for touring acts, as well as headlining. The engine ran smooth for almost two years before life took the members in separate directions.

Sam was once again a solo singer/songwriter. With the experiences he had been given, he found it to hold a certain sort of creative freedom in the music and on stage not present when in a band. And the situation sort of grew into something real. Sam expanded his audiences with regularity as he became more polished in every aspect of his music: vocally, instrumentally, lyrically, etc. Sam is performing solo anywhere from coffee shops to bars, with a solid following strewn throughout the state of Kansas. The foundation to the sound has never been stronger as Sam’s shows become more dynamic in presentation, energy, heart and soul. It’s refreshing to see such honesty found in the experience of Sam’s music… folk-rock-blues with a certain sort of soul.

The spectrum of Sam’s musical tastes is so varied that it’s hard to point to one particular genre as the definitive influence. It can’t be done so easily. His childhood offered an eclectic verve of sound. Growing up, Sam tended to be more impressed by whatever was spinning on his father’s record player, anything from Bob Dylan to Leo Kottke to Bruce Springsteen, to a variety of blues and jazz, to The Grateful Dead, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and on and on. It was never about the current flavor on the radio waves. If the artist delivered the song bearing it all, heart and soul, that’s what it was all about—honesty. Later on in the mid 90s while the alt-rock grunge scene had a strangle hold on much of the music scene, Sam found Seven Mary Three to his liking as well as the Boston-based band Buffalo Tom. As he became more aware of such bands as Wilco, Son Volt, the Jayhawks, the whole alt-country scene, they had an influence, both lyrically and musically on the early Commoner sound. But all the while he kept his pulse upon where it all began with the sounds from his father’s turn table.

A major turning point in his vocal styling came when he stumbled upon a record in a yard sale—“The Very Best of Otis Redding.” The delivery of the songs on the album were so raw, so real, so honest—that’s where it was for Sam. That’s where he needed to go; not that Sam claims to be Otis Redding by an stretch of the imagination, but maybe Otis Redding-esque: real, raw, honest, and all soul. With the new vocal element, Sam discovered a sound of his own, as all the pieces of his past became a sound of the now—a cacophony, that “simple symphony of sound.”

In these days of utterly uninspiring drag-you-down type vibes, inspiration for Sam’s music runs rampant. It’s not all just love, love lost—some of it is, but not all. Sam tries to focus upon the family of man, not so much taking sides on social issues, but bri