Born and raised in the working class town of Ypsilanti, in southeastern Michigan, Samantha Gray is a singer, performer, songwriter and visual artist who began her creative journey at a young age. Although she was raised in the mid-west, Samantha's father and maternal grandparents were from Tennessee. She has always embraced her southern roots and has often said, she had the best of both worlds. Samantha was exposed to many different types of music, especially the Motown Sound, R&B and Country. Samantha had aspirations to become a visual artist at an early age. Not long after graduating high school, she had an opportunity to move to Tennessee. Still following her dream of becoming a visual artist, she received an art scholarship to the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she would spend the next 3 years. Seemed like things were starting to fall into place, but as an art student, Samantha became frustrated with academia and felt that it stifled her creativity. She soon discovered that the one outlet she had was singing and performing. It wasn't long before a friend took her to see Alt Country/Roots Rock Band, The Bystanders. After the show she was introduced to the band and one week later they invited her to sing onstage with them. From that moment on, she was hooked and knew that she wanted to perform. Samantha obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts and it wasn't long before she headed to Nashville to pursue music. Soon after arriving she had her first studio experience singing backup for Alt Country Band, The Old Flames. She tried to start many bands herself, but all of her attempts proved unsuccessful. One day a chance meeting with front man and founder, Steve Hess, of Jump Blues Band, Jive Deluxe, gave her an opportunity to audition for a spot as a backing vocalist. She got the gig, but the group soon disbanded and in 2008 she co-founded and fronted , The Detroit Specials. The band was short lived, but it was during that time that Samantha was able to cultivate her skills as a songwriter. After her stint with Detroit Specials, she realized that she needed to go solo. Samantha's unique voice has been described as soulful, sultry and powerful. Also known for her vintage style and hip shaking performances, she really knows how to engage her audience. Melding the influences of Blues, Classic R&B, Soul and Rock 'n' Roll, she combines all of these influences into her own brand of Soulful Blues. Samantha currently resides in southwest Virginia and you can catch her performing with artists such as Billy Crawford and Lightnin' Charlie. Her second album "Live From Lee Theatre" was released in November 2018.
"Samantha sings with a grab 'em good and shake 'em up real fine like sort of style. It's strong. She's strong."
Tom Netherland, Bristol Herald Courier