Born in North Dakota and raised in Seattle, one of Sammy’s earliest musical memories is of watching and listening to his uncle Tony Steele perform on a local Washington television showcase. Country music runs deep in his family and the ‘Steele’ moniker began with his uncle Tony as a tribute to his family’s blue-collar roots in the iron industry. It’s that tradition that would eventually inspire Sammy to begin cultivating his own talent out of that spark of vocal ability recognized by his friends and family at an early age.
Despite this obvious gift, Sammy didn’t immediately pursue his passion for the country music stage. It wasn’t until 2005, after a Las Vegas relocation, that he decided to try his hand at a few area open mics. It was at this time that Sammy began his fruitful songwriting partnership with Vegas-based singer songwriter Chris Heers. This creative chemistry can be heard on songs like ‘Outskirts of Las Vegas,’ and ‘Whiskey Courage,’ featured on his Songs From The Third Cactus CD. After a few months and a couple of regular gigs, crowds began to recognize, appreciate, and request his distinctive throaty baritone and stylized renditions of country favorites. Soon Sammy found himself back in his native Northwest where he began developing a fan base in Washington, Oregon and Montana with his high-energy, soulful southern rock performances. Today, Sammy has emerged as an audience favorite throughout the Northwest and recently expanding into the southwest market.
The music of Sammy Steele draws from the wellspring of tradition sometimes called the ‘outlaw movement’ or ‘outlaw country,’ tracing back to such icons as Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, David Allen Coe, and Johnny Cash, to name just a few. His song ‘Nowhere To Run,’ also featured on Songs from the Third Cactus, is a perfect example of outlaw country storytelling set against a lush, 70’s-inspired instrumentation. But, he is also a child of the nineties and owes much of his inspiration to country artists of that era like Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, George Strait, and Alan Jackson . In recent years, Sammy has incorporated into his music the more straight forward songwriting and outlaw feel of the Red Dirt/Texas Country music movement that has been sweeping through Texas and Oklahoma for the last ten to fifteen years, drawing inspiration from talented artists like Cross Canadian Ragweed, Stoney LaRue and the Randy Rogers Band.
Paying tribute to the greats of each wave of country and rock traditions, Sammy Steele’s playlist bridges the gap between those definitive eras and movements creating a show that has something for audiences across all generations to appreciate and enjoy.