Sat. March 27, 7:00pm
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.—Dirty Linen
Les Sampou has been in demand as a live performer for two decades, playing clubs and concert halls and such prestigious festivals as Montreal Jazz Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival (where she won the coveted New Folk Award out of 700 contestants), Philadelphia Folk Festival, and Falcon Ridge to name a few. She has given workshops at Berklee School of Music and appeared on the top syndicated radio programs such as Acoustic Cafe, World Cafe, and NPR. Sampou has released four albums: two on her own label, MoNando Music, and two on Rounder Records, all grabbing the attention of DJs and press people nationwide who gave her unanimous praise. Her second album, “Fall from Grace”, topped the Gavin Americana charts nationwide. Boston radio station WUMB awarded her “Best New Artist of the Year.”
Sampou has easy command of a full-range of American music styles and it’s easy to see why. Her influences range from old timey music by such artists as Elizabeth Cotton and Jimmie Rodgers, to sixties folk music from Joan Baez and Pete Seeger; R&B and Motown tunes by the likes of Percy Sledge, Sam Cooke and Wilson Pickett, and a wide variety of country blues covers by musicians including Memphis Minnie, Robert Johnson, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and many more. Some of Sampou’s more modern influences include Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, and Lowell George of Little Feat. Early on Sampou was taught by her mentor and friend Paul Rishell (W.C. Handy Award winner) a collection of classic country blues songs which she performs to this day. “Sampou is bursting with powerhouse country rock, fluid acoustic folk, and blues tracks to rival Rory Block.” (FolkRoots, UK)
Sampou takes this Americana history and weaves her own songwriting style through it all. “Discerning music fans hearing Les Sampou for the first time might wonder why her albums aren’t selling in the millions. A standing-room-only crowd certainly went home entranced by Sampou; few of today’s top songwriters produce more compelling or distinctive music than Sampou.” (The Patriot Ledger) “Sampou is a chanteuse with a voice capable of ripping off rafter-raising blues tunes and then turning even grand concert halls into house concerts with her intimate balladry.” (Boston Globe).
After taking time off from performing to start a new family, Les Sampou has begun a new chapter in her own musical history: The Les Sampou Trio. Joined by Dan Deleo on upright bass and Mark Cunningham on guitars and vocals, Les has created a roots trio with a stellar new repertoire. It includes old and new original material along with traditional and modern selections to create an exceptional evening of music audiences will talk about long after the lights go down.
In the comfort of an informal living room.