Samantha Gray and Rock-a-Bye Blue perform at Northeast State on Aug. 2 in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts, located on the College’s main campus in Blountville, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport.
The band’s performance is part of the College’s “Hot Nights, Cool Music” summer concert series. The show is free and open to the public. The performance begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Gray was raised in the Midwest. Her father and maternal grandparents were from Tennessee. She embraced her southern roots and has often said that she had the best of both worlds. Samantha was exposed to many different types of music, especially country music and the sounds of Motown.
While attending the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, she caught a performance by the alt-country band, The Bystanders. After the show she was introduced to the band and one week later they invited her to sing on stage with them. From that moment on, Gray was hooked and knew that she wanted to perform.
Gray fronted several bands including Jive Deluxe and The Detroit Specials. She honed her songwriting skills while working with the groups before going solo. Gray’s unique voice has been described as soulful, sultry and powerful. Melding the influences of Classic R&B, blues and rock’n’roll, she combines all of these influences into her own brand of Blues and Roots music, which can be heard on her 2010 self-released album “Bad Girl Now.”