Sam was born in the seventies. Her mum, Corrie would play and sing to Sam on her guitar. Her parents loved music and the Payne household was very noisy. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, blues, jazz and Irish folk music like the Bothy Band blasted out of the stereo frequently.
When she was 5, her dad took her to Newport Folk Club and a pianist was playing Scott Joplin’s, the Entertainer. She loved it so much she went to neighbours, who were piano restorers, and picked out the melody on the piano. She kept going round and playing whenever she could. The neighbours were so impressed they gave her the piano (or maybe it was to get her to practice elsewhere!!!).
Her parent’s took her for classical lessons but also taught her folk and pop songs. Corrie writes songs and encouraged young Sam to do the same. She went up to grade 5 then developed a taste for blues and boogie-woogie and spent her time developing her ear. She made her poor dad buy loads of obscure blues and boogie records like Robert Johnson, Albert Ammons, Pinetop Perkins, Otis Spann, Big Mamma Thornton and many more.
Sam’s mum and Aunt Carole Palmer (singer/songwriter) had her doing gigs with them when she was about 12 in folk clubs and boozers. When she was 15 her dad took her to Burnley Blues Festival and she jammed with Buddy Guy on stage. A few years later she got her own gig there on main stage.
As soon as she could drive she was out on the road gigging wherever she could. She fronted and electric blues band for a while and did solo gigs. Her first paid gig was in a blues club in Lancaster. As she arrived they were mopping up blood by the door because someone had been stabbed. During the gig a fight broke out and one of the speakers nearly landed on bewildered Sam. Now 17, she was not put off and was determined to continue with music. She then fronted a trio with herself on piano, saxophone and bass. They held a residency at Ronnie Scott’s in Birmingham playing her own compositions.
When she was 18 she went to Brazil to visit her grandfather and travel. She was knocked out by the ability of street kids playing percussion and the Samba rhythms of Bahia. Later she studied Samba percussion at Leeds College of Music. Some of her music has been influenced by this style. At a festival she was spotted by Hotshot Records and went to Leeds to work closely with them. The music she produced with them is listed in MUSIC. It was about this time that Sam started using computers and samplers to help create music.
She started listening to bands like Massive Attack, Leftfield and Moloko. She also started listening to jazz like Miles Davis, Weather Report and Nina Simone.
Steve Barker of On the Wire, radio Lancashire put Sam in touch with producer Skip McDonald (Little Axe, Tackhead). They did some demo’s at On u Sound, London.
Sam wanted to give her music a new edge with a world class feel. Skip was the perfect man for the job. He has played with Miles Davis, George Clinton and produced many top acts. Together they were able to draw upon many styles of music form hip-hip, soul, funk, jazz to folk, blues, reggae, African and Brazilian styles. All went into the melting pot to produce a very stylish groove. The album Liquid Emotions was born and negotiations are currently underway to decide its future.
They also did gigs together at places like the Essential Festival. Dingwall’s, London. The Wardrobe, Leeds and Band on the Wall, Manchester. In Jan 2005 Sam left Hotshot Records and is now managing herself and has brought out a solo album on her own label see music
The Little wooden Buddha’s is another project Sam is involved with, mainly singing and writing. It is predominantly jazz with dance and drum n bass grooves.
This project is in its embryonic stages.