The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® has a knack for recognizing and showcasing emerging country music talent and the Malloy Toyota Country Music Party, presented by the Q102 lineup, will once again delight fans. Over the years, the Festival has welcomed artists like Blake Shelton and Billy Currington in 2004, Parmalee in 2018, Jimmie Allen in 2019 and many more to our stage as they established their names in the music industry. country music. For 2022, we are pleased to announce that Sam Grow will be headlining the show with special guest Ryan Jewel from 8:00 p.m. to midnight on Saturday evening, April 30 at the Tolley Dental Zone at James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center on the campus of Shenandoah University. Tickets are $35.00 and are available at www.thebloom.com.
sam grow up
We can all remember moments that changed our lives and hopefully the lives of those we love.
Ask Sam Grow and he’ll tell you he’s had maybe three. The first came in high school, when his father agreed to buy Sam the guitar he desperately wanted – but only on one fateful condition. The next day came the day he held his newborn daughter for the first time, a moment that prompted him to make a special wish that he has kept ever since. And the third involved his decision to pass up several tempting opportunities until the perfect one presented itself – signing with Average Joes Entertainment.
Since signing with the Nashville-based label in 2019, Grow has amassed over 40 million streams across all digital service platforms, been named to Billboard’s coveted “7 Countries to Watch” list, and was recently ranked by Music Row magazine as “On Board for Strong Offers for Future Stardom.” Her 2020 hit single, “Song About You,” from her EP, Me And Mine, was listed as one of Spotify’s “Best Country Songs of 2020-Wrapped,” and her 2019 album, “Love and Whiskey”, debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Country Albums Chart.
“Love and Whiskey” was a self-portrait that spoke to listeners as if they had written those songs themselves. Add his insight as a singer, his ability to convey loneliness, love and laughter with equal eloquence, and you have an album that represents the best of modern country.
Grow began his journey in Mechanicsville, Maryland, where his father JR worked on power lines by day and loved to sing and listen to music at home at night. Sam started showing signs of talent at an early age – so early that at the age of 5, after his family moved to Winfield, Kansas, he made his debut singing “Amazing Grace” at the local Baptist church. Winfield also hosts the annual Walnut Valley Festival, which features many of the top bluegrass singers and players. This, too, opened Grow’s eyes and ears.
At 10, he started writing songs. By the time his parents divorced, Grow realized that music could be more than a hobby or a distraction. “I saw a lot of things that 12 or 13 year olds shouldn’t see,” he recalls. “I felt I had something to say about those moments. That’s why I started writing about them. Eventually, music became my escape, a way to get away from everything that was bad.
Grow and his father moved back to Maryland, where their close bond grew even stronger. That brings us to that first milestone in Sam’s life. When he begged Dad to buy him a guitar, JR agreed with one stipulation: Sam was to promise to use it to develop his own music – specifically, he wouldn’t use it. wouldn’t use to imitate Green Day and other bands that were on the radio. at this moment.
Sam agreed to these terms. It wasn’t until several years later that he discovered his father had spent $500 on the instrument by maxing out his credit card. Sam learned more from it than music. “That’s why I say dad was my biggest influence,” he explains. “And not just in music. He tried to excel in everything he did. Seeing him always striving to be the best he can be has definitely inspired me to try not to turn anything into something.
And he still owns that guitar.
When he was 15, Sam went with his father to Nashville. JR was there on business, but he found time to introduce his son to Robert’s Western Wear, the classic Music City honky-tonk. Just a year later, Sam was playing gigs and leading his own band. Eventually he enrolled at the College of Southern Maryland as a music major, but quit after a while and returned to making music. He knew then and knows now that he really had no other choice, and it was all because of that second step.
When he first held his infant daughter, he said, “I realized I was his first example of what a man is. I didn’t want to be the kind of man who said, ‘I had a dream of playing music but then I got you and put it away.’ It’s the worst thing you can say to a child. Watching her, I wanted her to grow up knowing that I was chasing my dreams. I wanted her to believe, like me, that the world is limitless.
So Grow has dedicated himself full-time to acting, performing and writing. He recorded an independent album, Ignition, in 2009 and began touring beyond Maryland territory, with shows booked in Los Angeles, San Diego, Vancouver and other faraway destinations. When he landed a gig at the Nashville Underground, he impulsively texted producer Matt McClure, even though they had never met, inviting him to come see a set or two. Impressed, McClure began pitching Grow to major publishers. Offers were offered immediately. Grow moved to Nashville in 2013 and began releasing their own music, starting with a self-titled EP in 2014, followed by The Blame in 2017 and A Little Like Me in 2018.
One last step remained. When Grow was booked to open for Colt Ford, the iconic country rapper invited him on his bus to write a song with him and mutual friend Taylor Phillips. “We wrote a song,” notes Grow. “Then we wrote another song. Then Colt said, “I want more people to hear your music.” Will you please come and sign with Average Joes? “
This leads directly into Love And Whiskey, with Grow’s band providing the music as promised and Jacob Rice producing. Ironically, the first two singles were the only cuts he didn’t co-write. However, “Boots” and “History” seem to have been adapted to its history. The “boots,” in particular, came to him at exactly the right time, just weeks after his father passed away. Josh Thompson’s words hit on something in Grow, whose memories of JR include the favorite pair of boots he wore throughout his life.
“Every time I play ‘Boots’ and get hooked, people who have followed respond and personally because they know how it connects to my feelings about my dad,” Grow insists. “But it also hits home when I sing it for a new audience, like I did recently on the Tyler Farr tour, because it speaks to his audience and to mine: hard-working, blue-collar workers. who wake up every morning, strap them on, put on your boots and get to work.
Like many artists, Ryan Jewel was drawn to music from an early age. When he got his first guitar, there was no looking back. In high school, Ryan started performing with the idea of becoming a professional musician. During his sophomore year at Clemson University, Ryan and his teammate, Andrew Beam, were burning down every bar, club, sorority, and frat party they could throw. They were called Beam & Jewel and played 3 nights a week for the rest of Ryan’s college career.
Hailing from Front Royal, Virginia, the country music singer-songwriter released his debut EP “Up on the Drive” in 2016. This EP helped him gain momentum with his music career in his hometown. , the Shenandoah Valley, and beyond. Alongside his EP, Ryan was a finalist in the 2015 Texaco Country Showdown, a nationwide talent search, which reinforced Ryan’s call for a music career. Ryan has had the privilege of opening for some great country artists such as Marty Stuart and Lauren Alaina. He also shared the stage with fellow Nashville performers and Clemson pals Cody Webb and Doug McCormick.
Ryan’s rich baritone voice, coupled with his authentic songwriting, which reflects his own life experiences, has helped him build a strong fan base who appreciate Ryan’s style of shows and “what you see is what you get”.
When Ryan moved to Nashville in 2017, he got off to a flying start; signing a management deal with Harmony Music Group Mgt just two weeks after moving to town. “If we hadn’t signed him, someone would have jumped on him as soon as he opened his mouth in town and started singing” – (Fred Conley) He started singing demos for many established writers in town and soon after began writing with several of those same writers.
Ryan recently released his second studio EP “Heads, I’m Yours…” on all digital platforms and is currently selling hard copies as well as new merchandise at all of his shows.