The two will perform original tunes on May 15th at Redding City Hall as part of the North State Songwriter Showcase that runs from 5 - 7 PM.
Matthew is a 15-year-old multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and a busy performer of gospel, country and blues tunes in the Redding area. Sami Jo is a rising country star who writes songs with a traditional flavor and modern appeal. Matthew and Sami Jo describe their music together as a blend of bluegrass, Americana and acoustic country.
I asked them about their partnership and their plans.
How did the two of you start making music together?
Matthew: We met at a gig and I invited Sami to meet me at Shasta College and practice a few tunes. Then we started playing care centers and other gigs, too.
How has performing as a duo influenced your songwriting?
Sami Jo: Performing as a duo has influenced me specifically, a lot, because I have been learning so much from Matthew. I am influenced by the way Matthew is able to weave a song together through instrumentals. The instruments alone tell a story to me.
What are your ambitions as a songwriter?
Matthew: We want to try to write unique songs that touch people's minds and hearts.
Sami Jo: I think our lyrical songwriting is influenced by the things that we experience in our lives. Writing a song is like writing in a journal, where each page is another day lived. My ambitions as a songwriter are to write songs that people can relate to and understand. We want to write songs that reflect emotion and touch hearts.
Any exciting events on your calendar after the 15th?
Matthew: We have a lot of gigs after the 15th. We always do care centers, but we are also playing Kelly's Pub, French Gulch Hotel and a KKRN benefit.
On May 15th, come to Redding City Hall and check out the new exhibit in Shasta County's largest art gallery. You'll also have a chance to meet the artists, enjoy complimentary refreshments and listen to this dynamic duo - Matthew Songmaker and Sami Jo. You will be impressed, I promise.
The performance schedule:
5:00: Still Married
6:00: Will Miller
6:30 Justin Contreras