Sam Grow has earned every success in his life through hard work, an entrepreneurial attitude and an easy-going, charismatic spirit that promotes his soulful and genuine voice. The Mechanicsville, Maryland native has released two projects independently, selling more than 30,000 copies, with the most recent record charting in the top 20 on iTunes. He’s also grown a devoted following across the country, putting him on the road for more than 250 shows a year. And it can all be traced back to his childhood trips with his father.
“When I wanted to spend time with my dad we’d get in the truck and travel everywhere,” says Sam, whose father J.R. was a lineman. “He worked on power lines for 31 years of his life. He always went where the storm was. On weekends, he’d drive out and make bids and I’d go with him. It was just him and me and the radio. His favorites were Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and George Jones; Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Elvis Presley. That’s what really got me passionate about music.”
The music bug bit Sam early. One of his earliest times performing was singing “Amazing Grace” in church at the age of five. “The audience clapped and I was hooked,” Sam admits. In an effort to emulate his older sister he tried to teach himself the piano, but it wasn’t until 14 that Sam found his calling.
“I learned pretty quickly that if you were the guy in high school who could sing and play guitar you made a lot of friends and a lot of girlfriends too,” he says with a laugh. So, Sam asked his father to buy him a guitar. “He told me I had to go borrow a guitar from a friend and show him that I was willing to learn some songs with substance, not just Green Day or whatever everyone was listening to back then.”
And without reserve, Sam did just that. “The first song I learned was Elvis Presley’s ‘Unchained Melody,’” he says. “The second was a song by Sam Cooke that I still sing on stage today, ‘Bring It On Home To Me.’ I sang the last note and he took me to a local guitar shop, Hot Licks in Waldorf, Maryland, and bought me a Fender acoustic/electric guitar.”
Two years later, Sam was ready to record his first demo at a local studio in Charles County, Maryland. Magic was made, as that experience in the studio would begin to develop the band that still tours with Grow today.
While the pieces were there in his teens, Sam didn’t make the plunge into performing full time until his 20s. Instead, he attended the College of Southern Maryland to study business. He was a year and a half away from graduating when a light went off.
“When I was 21, I had a little girl, Emmry Harlow, and the first time holding her was my wakeup call,” he recalls. “Instantly, when you’re holding a life in your arms, you realize that everything you do from that point on directly affects that life. I never wanted to tell her that I wanted to play music full time and wasn’t doing just that. I wanted to be able to provide for her off of my dreams so she would always know she can do whatever it is that she loves.”
Sam spent six years building a foundation and a group that have become much more to him than fans. “I don’t call them fans, because they are way more than that to me,” Sam asserts. “I’ve built up an awesome family of supporters. They can’t be touched.”
In late 2013, Sam moved to Nashville and signed a publishing deal with ole. He began working with Grammy-nominated producer Matt McClure and top tunesmiths including Kyle Jacobs and Billy Montana, with whom he penned his first single “Is It You.” The upbeat call for the girl of his dreams, produced by both McClure and Jacobs, is only the beginning of what Sam is capable of delivering as he grows as an artist, musician and writer.