The San Francisco Examiner's Phil Elwood wrote:
"...SAM is one of the most distinctive and bright
performers I've reviewed in a quarter century."
The Hollywood Reporter called her "A Golden Voice."
The Toronto Star called her "Brilliant"
The New York Post called her "Magnetic"
The Philadelphia Inquirer called her "One of the best entertainers you'll ever see!"
Sweden's Dagbladet proclaimed "SAM Lights Up The World!"
From New York to L.A. to San Francisco, "SAM" has been established as one of the few true cabaret stars in the country. Her many awards include Cabaret Gold, DramaLogue, Cable Car, Dean Goodman Choice honors, a Shellie Award nomination, citations from the City of San Francisco, the Key to the City of Houston as 'Goodwill Ambassador'; and recognitions for her tireless efforts on behalf of both AIDS Fundraising and The Contra Costa Stand Against Domestic Violence.
Internationally, she has performed for the Royal Family in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia; by invitation of the U.S. Embassy in Brussels; at Malmo's famed Stadsteatren in Sweden; by special request of Baroness de Rothschild; and throughout Canada. She has also been a regular Headliner on the RSVP Cruises, which has taken her to Mexico, Alaska, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean.
In theatre, she was cast in the National Touring Company of the Tony Award-winning NINE - The Musical. She is best known for her role as 'Edith Piaf' in the Award-winning musical "PIAF, NO REGRETS", which defined her as one of the country's premier interpreters of that musical genre, and for her Award-Winning "Rodgers & Hammerstein ... With Hart!" throughout the country.
In concert, she was a 'regular' Opening Act for JOAN RIVERS during Joan's 'West Coast Years', and went on to share stages with other headliners including Howie Mandel, The Smothers Brothers, and Alan King. In countless concerts and benefits throughout the country, she has shared stages with such forces as Patty Duke, Ben Vereen, Harvey Fierstein and Toni Tennille. She appeared at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts along with Guest Stars Bonnie Raitt, her father John Raitt, and Jill Eikenberry & Michael Tucker. In Los Angeles, she was featured in David Galligan's production of LOESSER IS MORE, and with ROBIN WILLIAMS and BILL IRWIN in San Francisco's NOT THE SAME OLD SONG AND DANCE at Yerba Buena Center.
Her recordings feature the songs of her longtime collaborative team of Eric Vetro and Steven Shore. In the world of children's music, she created the innovative Samantha Samuels' KABARET FOR KIDS production, with the recorded version made available in the California Public Libraries and in the Early Childhood.com Education Catalogue. Her recordings include SAMANTHA SAMUELS...ALL DRESSED UP, SIMPLY SAM, and KABARET FOR KIDS, all on the ESSES Records label.
SIMPLY SAM - Liner Notes, by Nina Blackwood*
Although the album is entitled SIMPY SAM, there is certainly nothing simple about the songstress who asks her many fans to 'just call her SAM'. SAM's full contralto voice is as rich and luxurious as burgundy velvet, a unique combination of lushness and texture. Only an artist in possession of a comoplex palette of shades and hues is capable of coloring a song with such intensity that every lyric is drenched with the kind of emotion found only in the depths of a sensitively intricate psyche. That's SAM!!!
As listeners, we experience the results of this inward journey, and in turn travel via the music, into our own personal labyrinth, stirring and exploring our deepest feelings. From the dramatic triumph of I'M COMING HOME AGAIN and YOU MAKE IT FEEL LIKE HOME, the light-hearted treatment of misconstrued sentiment in PERSON TO PERSON, the tearfully touching affirmation of I'M DOING OKAY, to the sweet romance of HE BRINGS ME ROSES, a great range of emotional territory is covered on this collection of material. The majority of songs are written and co-written by longtime collaborators Steven Shore and Eric Vetro, the latter along with pianist/composer John R. Burr providing a sold insturmental backdrop for SAM's dramatic stylings.
The audience is transported into an intimate setting where the mind's eye is free to reflect particular moments in the portrait of our lives and that of an artist whose rare gift can take us to that very private and secret place...SAM's place.
*NINA BLACKWOOD was introduced to television audiences as the first MTV "VJ". What followed was an unprecedented career as Music Reporter/Anchor for ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, Co-Host of the Emmy Award-winning variety series SOLID GOLD, and Host, Interviewer, Music Newscaster of such major events as The Golden Globe Awards, Farm Aid, and her own national and international sydicated radio shows. As a music journalist, she was Music Editor for IN STYLE Magazine and contributed regularly to such publications as CD REVIEW, MUSIC CONNECTION, and L.A. POP.