Sammy Rae & The Friends

with Yam Haus
Thursday, November 3, 2022
Doors 7 | Show 8
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For as much as Sammy Rae & The Friends may be a band, this collective of, dreamers, and artists considers itself a family first.

Fronted by singer and songwriter Sammy Rae, the group flourishes in any spotlight with a combination of all-for-one and one-for-all camaraderie, palpable chemistry, deft virtuosity, and vocal fireworks. Their sound is a mélange of Sammy’s influences, rooted in classic rock, folk, and funk and sprinkled with soul and jazz. Complete with a rhythm section, horn section, keyboards, and backing vocals, Sammy Rae & The Friends have or will deliver their high-energy, spirited, and unrestrained shows to sold-out audiences in the Northeast and beyond, including Terminal 5 in NYC, two consecutive nights at the Boston Royal, 9:30 Club in DC, Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia, The Showbox in Seattle, the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, and many more. NPR Music, the Boston Globe and American Songwriter alike have dubbed her an artist to watch is 2022.

While the band considers themselves the “7 faces of The Friends,” they advocate for the importance of their community. Avid music fans themselves, they pride themselves on this original grassroots, word-of-mouth growth. The Friends is their community of followers, artists and creatives who help in the creation of their songs and sustenance of the project—their mixing engineer, band photographer, graphic designer, budget manager, and everyone who hangs around the shows supporting the vision. The shows are like a shot in the arm of affirmation of individuality. They are safe spaces to feel overwhelmed with love and acceptance. “Friends”in the audience are encouraged to dress how they like, dance how they like, join the party and form person-to-person Friendships.

Sammy Rae & The Friends just wrapped a five-week tour celebrating her latest single, "Follow Me Like the Moon," and will be on the festival circuit this summer. Their next single,"Time Being", comes out on 7/15/22.

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Yam Haus

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It stays agnostic to our differences and brings us together. Yam Haus invites everyone into the embrace of their neon-hued, dancefloor-tailored alternative pop. The Minneapolis quartet—Lars Pruitt [lead vocals], Jake Felstow [drums], Zach Beinlich [bass], and Seth Blum [guitar]—fuse together intimate songcraft with stadium-size ambition. After independently amassing nearly 15 million total views and streams, playing to sold out crowds at legendary venues such as First Avenue, and building a fervent fanbase, they instantly captivate on their latest EP in 2022.

“The ‘Yam’ in our name stands for ‘You are me’,” explains Jake. “It’s our take on treating people well and with empathy. At our live shows, we want anyone to feel like they’re welcome. It’s a space where you don’t have to look a certain way or belong to a certain group. You can just dance and let loose.”

“Personally, we try to live by ‘You are me’,” adds Seth. “It informs so much of what we do as a band. We’re friends first and musicians second. We’ve worked really hard to support each other. That’s our biggest strength. Hopefully, it bleeds into how we support listeners and how they support one another. Being committed to people you care about is a cool thing. I’m grateful my island consists of these three guys. It’s a big piece of our identity.”

The friendship dates back to high school in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Listening to everyone from Coldplay and Radiohead to Charli XCX and The Killers, The guys bonded over a mutual love for music and “cafeteria dreams of being in a band together.” They went their separate ways for college, but they kept in touch. During 2017, Lars wrote a handful of songs and started to record them. So, he reached out to his old buddies with a question.

“I was like, ‘I know you dreamed of going for this when we were in high school. Do you guys want to do it again?’,” the frontman recalls.

Impressed by what they heard, the guys quit their respective day jobs. Jake departed a healthcare company, Zach decided to forego a master’s program, Seth bailed from his pre-med studies, and Lars left a music gig at a church.

“We jumped off the cliff,” laughs Lars. “We decided to book as many shows as possible and do whatever we needed to in order to make a living by chasing our dream.”

Right out of the gate, their single “West Coast” caught traction and eventually notched north of 1 million-plus streams. In the wake of their full-length debut album Stargazer, they graced bills with the likes of Kacey Musgraves, Tori Kelly, Adam Lambert, Bishop Briggs, Andy Grammar, AWOLNATION, lovelytheband, JOHNNYSWIM, and more. Not to mention, they emerged as hometown heroes by packing the most hallowed venue in Minneapolis: First Avenue. At the same time, their personalities shined during hilarious vlogs as they amassed just shy of 10 million YouTube views. Their single “The Thrill” gathered 948K Spotify streams and paved the way for The Band Is Gonna Make It EP in 2020. Yam Haus only increased this momentum in 2021 with “novocaine”. On the track, a head-nodding groove bristles up against glistening guitars and thick bass as Lars carries an anthemically anesthetizing refrain, “Numb like novocaine, never want it ‘til it’s gone.”

“The song is about how numbing the past year was and realizing how numb we all were,” states Lars. “Before the Pandemic, it was such a privilege to play shows, meet fans, and connect with people in various places. Six months into having all of that stripped away, we grasped how much we missed it. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. It can apply to relationships or anything. It’s human nature to take things for granted.”

In 2021, they also caught the attention of producer Mark Needham [The Killers, Imagine Dragons] and hit the studio with him to catalyze their next evolution.

“We’re really swinging for the fences,” Lars elaborates. “We’d love to fill up arenas someday, and we’re willing to admit that to ourselves!”

In the end, Yam Haus have welcomed everyone to join them for the ultimate party.

“We want to convey universal messages anybody can relate to—whether they’re about heartache, joy, pain, excitement, or anticipation,” Lars leaves off. “I’d love it if people walked away from our music feeling like we’ve made the soundtrack to their story. We all go through many of the same experiences on a human level regardless of ethnicity, orientation, gender, or background.”