Concert Review: Sammy Rae & The Friends (Ritz Raleigh)

BY MARK DOLEJS Sammy Rae & The Friends filled the Ritz Raleigh with love last week during their Camp: The Tour show. I don’t think t...
BY MARK DOLEJS

Sammy Rae & The Friends filled the Ritz Raleigh with love last week during their Camp: The Tour show. I don’t think there was a single song where the crowd was not singing along and dancing to the music.


Sammy Rae

At one point, Sammy Rae sat down on the stage and led the audience in a breathing exercise and encouraged everyone to be in the moment. The night started with three familiar songs, “Talk It Up,” “Follow Me Like The Moon,” and “Jackie Onassis.”


Will Leet

Several unreleased songs were shared, and Sammy Rae explained in her sing-talking way, they would be part of an upcoming full-length album. The new songs included “Luck Of The Draw,” which featured Will Leet on guitar, who also co-wrote the song.


Debbie Tjong

“David” is another new song that Sammy Rae explained is about male mental health, “something which we don’t talk about enough.” “Thieves” was the third new song that was played, and added Debbie Tjong on a second guitar for a harder feel. Sammy Rae said that the song is about “sticking it to the man and advocating for yourself when no one else is.”


James Quinlan & C-Bass Chiriboga

In many ways the band looked and sounded like they were the leaders of one big party with several thousand friends in attendance. The band is made up of Sammy Rae on vocals, Tjong on keyboards, Leet on guitar, C-Bass Chiriboga on drums, James Quinlan on bass, Max Zooi on tenor sax and Kellon Anderson on alto sax.


James Quinlan, Kellon Anderson and Will Leet

“Denim Jacket” was a fan favorite and just before Sammy Rae began the song, she retrieved a denim jacket from a fan in the crowd and wore it for the song. Leet really brought the funk on guitar to this song and Tjong rocked a keytar.


Kellon Anderson, Sammy Rae, Max Zooi and Will Leet

The horn section of Zooi and Anderson really help to round out the band's sound and their enthusiasm is near that of Sammy Rae. For that matter the whole band gives it their all for the entire set, constantly rocking out and bouncing around the stage.


Sammy Rae

The night was finished out with “Coming Home Song,” a single that was released about a month ago. The song is about the fact that sometimes you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of your friends, your health is vital to being able to be there for someone else. The anthem-like lyrics go like this, “I was falling, and I picked me up, and I picked me up, See I was falling, and I picked me up, and I picked me up.”


Sammy Rae

Wow, what a night of fun! If you get a chance, Sammy Rae & The Friends are a band you don’t want to miss!
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    • MARK DOLEJS
      • Photography is an avenue that Mark Dolejs uses to learn about the people and places that cross his path. After more than 30 years as a photojournalist, Mark enjoys concert, macro, and roadside photography. Follow Mark on Instagram at @solidrockpix.

        Read Mark's posts here.

Fans as Sammy Rae tells them to take in the moment


Sammy Rae

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Strange Carolinas: The Travelogue Of The Offbeat: Concert Review: Sammy Rae & The Friends (Ritz Raleigh)
Concert Review: Sammy Rae & The Friends (Ritz Raleigh)
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Strange Carolinas: The Travelogue Of The Offbeat
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