"The Samples" are a band formed in Boulder, Colorado in early 1987. The band's name came from the members' early sustenance of food samples from the local King Soopers grocery store . The music has been described as "reggae influenced rock/pop" and a cross between The Police and the Grateful Dead . The founding members were Sean Kelly (Guitar/Vocals), Andy Sheldon (Bass/Vocals), Charles Hambleton (guitar), Jeep MacNichol (Drums/Vocals), and Al Laughlin (Keyboards, Vocals).
== History ==
Sean Kelly, the lead singer and only remaining original band member, and other original members were born in Manchester, Vermont. The Samples eventually moved to Colorado, where the band gained fame and recorded "The Samples" on Arista Records in 1989. Hambleton left the band and a dispute broke out with Arista so the Samples joined on with an independent label, W.A.R.? - What Are Records? They became a success for What Are Records? in the early nineties selling over 1,000,000 copies of their catalogue based on a genuine grass roots campaign.
Their live shows helped them on the college circuit selling out venues in college towns across the country. Their records blended pop sensibility with a mix of folk, reggae, jazz, and rock to create their own signature sound. Sean Kelly, the featured songwriter, wrote songs about nature and the environment giving the band an "eco-friendly" reputation. The band headlined some of the H.O.R.D.E. tour shows in 1993 and 1996 and they shared the bill with big names such as The Allman Brothers Band, Blues Traveler, and Phish. On their own tours, many future successful bands opened up for them including Dave Matthews Band, Hootie & the Blowfish, and Lisa Loeb. The success included TV performances on "The Tonight Show" and "House of Blues".
In 1996, the Samples signed on again with a major label. This time it was MCA Records and they recorded "Outpost" (1996). Another contract dispute broke out and their contract was revoked after the record was released. MacNichol and Laughlin quit and the band began to tour and release albums independently. Since 1997, there have been numerous member changes with the exception of Sean Kelly as frontman. The band still enjoys a dedicated fanbase.
On April 7, 2008, The Samples came to an end. Sean Kelly wrote "The long and winding road for The Samples has ended. Outside of possibly playing a few rumored dates with the original line up next fall, The Samples will be no longer."
== Current members ==
* Sean Kelly - lead singer, guitars and songwriter
* Mike Montrey - acoustic guitars and vocals
* Jared Johnson - bass
* Karl Dietel - keyboards and vocals
* Billy Mutchler - drums
== Discography ==
* "The Samples" (1989)
* "No Room" (April 22, 1992)
* "Underwater People" (July 9, 1992)
* "Still Water EP" (1993)
* "Live At Deerfield Academy " (1993)
* "The Last Drag" (September 24, 1993)
* "Autopilot" (September 13, 1994)
* "Outpost" (July 16, 1996)
* "Transmissions from the Sea of Tranquility " (September 23, 1997)
* "The Tan Mule" (1998)
* "Here and Somewhere Else" (July 28, 1998)
* "Sparta" (November 7, 2000)
* "Landing on the Sidewalk" (November 7, 2000)
* "Return to Earth" (April 10, 2001)
* "Anthology in Motion, Vol. 1" (August 13, 2002)
* "Seventeen " (October 7, 2003)
* "Instant Live: The Paradise – Boston, MA, 4/20/03 " (October 14, 2003)
* "Black & White" (March 9, 2004)
* "Live in Colorado " (May 4, 2004)
* "Very Best of the Samples 1989–1994" (November 16, 2004)
* "Too Many Years" assorted artists to benefit Clear Path International(August, 2005)
* "Rehearsing for Life" (November 29, 2005)
Referenced from Wikipedia: The Samples