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Sam Bradford, Lead Guitar

Sam Bradfordby Julie DeNeen

At first glance, Sam Bradford looks like the sort of guy you might see on Seinfeld. Towering well over six feet tall, with a soft spoken and intelligent demeanor, you might think he’d be the perfectly typecast academic neighbor. That is, until you hear him tear it up during Blue on Black or Wayfaring Stranger. He is truly a study in contrast.

Sometimes referred to as “Sammy” (which seems remarkably unfitting as a nickname), he has been playing with the Sandy Connolly band since 2007. He also plays lead guitar for a band called Blues on the Rocks, but it doesn’t stop there. Sam’s performance history includes appearances with Dirty Blonde, The Dynamics, and TC and the Tall Boys. With over 30 years of guitar playing experience, as well as studying under the great jazz player and teacher Steve Famiglietti, he is fiercely talented.

When describing Sam to others, bandleader Sandy Connolly remarks, “Imagine a polite lion on stage, harnessing tremendous power and energy. When I give the signal for a solo, he is off with musical lines and distortion that grabs you by the throat. Without even trying, he simply commands the spotlight.

Sam draws inspiration from Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Les Paul, Freddie King, and Wes Montgomery. Ask him his style and he’ll tell you, “An amalgamation of my favorite guitarists with a little of my own techniques woven in.”

He enjoys playing with Sandy because, “She is the consummate professional, a perfectionist who brings out the best in everyone she plays with.” He may just be right, for Sam’s playing is fluid, creatively executed, and near perfect.