The Sam Cockrell Band
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The Sam Cockrell Band

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1990

Chicago, Illinois, United States
Established on Jan, 1990
Band R&B Soul


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

The Sam Cockrell Band @ The House Pub

Saint Charles, Illinois, United States

Saint Charles, Illinois, United States

The Sam Cockrell Band @ The House Pub

Saint Charles, Illinois, United States

Saint Charles, Illinois, United States

The Sam Cockrell Band @ Buddy Guy's Legends

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Chicago, Illinois, United States



"Sam Cockrell – Trying To Make A Living Playing My Guitar | Album Review"

REVIEW: Blues Blast Magazine
Issue 9-33 August 13, 2015

Album: Trying To Make A Living Playing My Guitar
Artist: Sam Cockrell
Label: Teletone Records
11 songs – 56 minutes

Well, this is a treat. Chicago-native Sam Cockrell issued two blues albums in 1999 and 2001 but then put his solo career on hold to play with a number of other bands. Now he has resurfaced with Trying To Make A Living Playing My Guitar, a top-quality slice of modern Chicago blues with strong funk and soul influences. Of course, Cockrell never really went away, being a long time favourite onthe Chicago blues scene, but it is great to see him return to producing his own music.
Trying To Make A Living Playing My Guitar features 11 original songs all written by Cockrell, who handles all the bass and vocal duties. He has a clear, warm, powerful voice, reminiscent of Robert Cray, particularly on tracks such as “I’ve Got To Make Some Changes” and he often picks vocal melodies that are slightly unexpected, hanging onto a note slightly longer than other singers might, adding to the listener’s enjoyment.

Lyrically, Cockrell addresses the sacrifices that artists must make in order to make a living, both in the title track and “You Can Have It All If You Play The Game” as well as focusing on broader social issues in “This Ain’t Another Baby I Love You Song”, with its chorus of “This ain’t another ‘Baby I Love You’ song. It’s about real life, things in the world going on. Senseless killings, discrimination. Right-wing radicals spewing hate in the nation. Working class people are feeling the pain. They’ve had enough – things need to change.” He also proudly sings the praises of his hometown in “I’m From Chicago” and “Playin’ With My Friends”.
Musically, the tracks include straight ahead Chicago shuffles (such as “Blindsided By Love”), organ-led ballads such as “Live Can Be Complicated” and funky soul-blues songs like “You’re A Sellout”. “She’s Hot” is pure funk-pop-rock-dance, with a hypnotic bass line, but it sure makes for a great closing track. Cockrell regularly introduces clever twists into the song structures, for example the bass/organ breakdown on “Playin’ With My Friends”, a foot-tapping duet that also features the voice and guitar of Roger Girke.

In addition to Cockrell, other top drawer musicians on the album include Lynn Barry on vocals; Dan Tabion on keyboards; guitarists Lin Doughten, Joe LaSorte and Roger Girke; Darryl Brown on synthesizer; drummers Billy Meyers and Bredt Showell; Will Baker on trombone; Brian Crane on trumpet; and Bob Sass on saxophone. Doughten, LaSorte and Girke in particular add tasty, melodic and punchy guitar fills and solos and the horn section of Baker, Crane and Sass provide subtle, inventive backing throughout.

Trying To Make A Living Playing My Guitar benefits from superb production by Cockrell and LaSorte and comes in a beautifully packaged tri-fold cover. It is a very impressive release, and is particularly recommended for those listeners whose tastes extend to the likes of Prince and Earth Wind and Fire as well as modern electric Chicago blues.

Reviewer Rhys Williams lives in Cambridge, England, where he plays blues guitar when not holding down a day job as a technology lawyer or running around after his children. He is married to an American, and speaks the language fluently, if with an accent. - Blues Blast Magazine

"Sam Cockrell | Trying To Make a Living Playing My Guitar"

REVIEW: Digital Living Blue Magazine
Issue 237, Vol. 46, #3
page 59

Trying To Make a Living Playing My Guitar
Teletone Records - (302) 421-9852

Bassist/vocalist Sam Cockrell has surrounded himself here with musicians both versatile and blues savvy--guitarist David Berger is especially notable for his ability to spice up his bluesy emotional and musical focus with a flamboyance obviously borrowed from pop and rock--and Cockrell's own thematic range, both musically and lyrically, diversifies the proceedings even further. Last Night (no relation to the Little Walter classic) is a heartfelt ballad of atonement and forgiveness, but its musical structure and jaunty tempo bespeak an almost carefree optimism. The meditative Life Can Be Complicated, in contast, is hymn-like and Cockrell's gritty-sweet vocals accentuate the lyrics' message of hard-won redemption. I'm From Chicago, meanwhile, limns scenarios of Windy City community life, set to a jubilant 12-bar blues lope toughened by Berger's sinewy leads.

You Can Have it All If You Play the Game and the funky, melodically challenging You're a Sellout address the precarious balance among integrity, conscience and commerce that musicians (and, by implication, all of us) contend with on a day-to-day basis. This Ain't Another Baby I Love You Song cuts even deeper, as Cockrell recites a litany of social ills and concludes with a warning that "working-class people [have] had enough...things need to change."

Cockrell's voice isn't really a deep-blues instrument but he delivers everything with passion, and the unerring support he gets from his bandsmen, as well as the overall production--roomy, clear-toned and robust--create an atmosphere of emotional directness that invokes the best of the blues tradition. Combined with his lyric acumen and wide-ranging musical palate, these elements combine to make this a pleasing and often inspiring set of contemporary blues.

--David Whiteis - Digital Living Blue Magazine

"Sam Cockrell | Trying To Make a Living Playing My Guitar"

REVIEW: Il Popolo Del Blues

Trying To Make a Living Playing My Guitar
(Teletone Records)

Sono di Chicago, dice e canta con orgoglio nella prima traccia. Sam Cockrell, inserito nella Blues Hall of Fame della sua città, può andare a testa alta con questo suo terzo album in cui è circondato da una band di tutto rispetto presentando undici brani originali. Un disco che è perfetto per gli appassionati del genere e che può conquistarne altri grazie all’energia di ogni singola traccia. Cockrell, bassista e cantante, presenta brani dove varia da atmosfere Soul e Rhythm’n'Blues (Last Night, I’ve Got to Make Some Changes, This Aint Another Baby I Love You Song) a quelle jazzate del pezzo che dà il titolo all’album, al Jump di Blindsided by Love e al funky della finale She’s Hot. Mettetelo nel lettore Cd dell’auto e fatevi un bel viaggio.
Michele Manzotti - Il Popolo Del Blues


Trying to Make A Living Playing My Guitar
Sam is back with his signature groove, a tight rhythm section, and an in-your-face horn section. The Chicago Blues Hall of Famer has put together an album that you can't listen to sitting down.

The horn infused R&B selections on Colorblind are sure to make you get up and dance!  The album features the world famous Memphis Horns.

I'm in the Business
This blues oriented collection features many of Sam's friends making guest appearances including: Carl Weathersby, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Coleman, Maurice John Vaughn, Billy Branch, and others.



The Sam Cockrell Band brings the party performing a signature blend of Rhythm & Blues, Soul, and Funk along with classics you know and love. The 7-piece band is led by Chicago Blues Hall-of-Famer Sam Cockrell.

Band Members