WNL: Sam Gleaves, Appalachian Musician

Wed, November 14, 2018 7:00 PM at RCAH Theater

Sam Gleaves is a singer and multi-instrumentalist originally from Wytheville, Virginia who now makes his home in Hindman, Kentucky. Sam began playing Appalachian music as a teenager with the help of mentors Jim Lloyd, a multi-instrumentalist, storyteller and local barber, and nationally recognized ballad singer Sheila Kay Adams.

Rooted in Appalachian traditions, Sam’s songwriting sings of contemporary rural life and social issues. During his time as a Berea College student, Sam performed with the Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble directed by Al White. In 2015, Sam collaborated with Grammy-winning producer Cathy Fink and released a debut record of original songs, titled “Ain’t We Brothers,” which has been featured by The Guardian, National Public Radio, No Depression, and The Bluegrass Situation. Appalachian novelist Lee Smith has heralded Sam as “the best young songwriter around.” Sam tours extensively in the U.S. and he has performed in Ireland, England, Canada, Japan and Italy.

In 2017, Sam released a record with his singing partner Tyler Hughes, a fellow southwest Virginian steeped in the region’s musical traditions. This record, titled “Sam Gleaves & Tyler Hughes,” has received glowing reviews from Fatea, Rock n Reel, fROOTS, and others. In 2018, Sam collaborated with Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer on a trio recording, “Shout & Shine,” which Justin Hiltner of the Bluegrass Situation called, “viscerally powerful . . . a perfect illustration of cross-generational mind melds and musical melds.” Sam currently serves as the Traditional Arts Director at the Hindman Settlement School.

Co-sponsored by the RCAH Center for Poetry’s Fall Writing Series.

Wednesday Night Live (WNL) is the signature all-college events program of RCAH. Featuring speakers, artists, performers, and activists from around the corner and around the country, WNL introduces RCAH students to new ways of thinking about and pursuing the arts and humanities. 

For more information, visit the WNL page.