Sam Andrew Assembles Local Musicians to Write, Record New Original Album


1 comment

Helmed by former Janis Joplin bandmate Sam Andrew, a terrific little group of local musicians has gathered to write and record an album of - to be succinct here - rock, jazz, blues, gospel, funk, R&B, soul, country and more. The musical result, Coast to Coast (on a Piece of Toast), reels in the band members' individual influences and blends them as one.

Andrew is joined by guitarist Ben Nieves, singer Mary Bridget Davies and drummer Jim Wall, all of whom boast Northeast Ohio roots. It's a great lineup, evidenced most immediately in the musicians' ties to Joplin herself. Nieves tours with Big Brother and the Holding Company, the band that formed around Joplin in the the 1960s. Davies, meanwhile, has actually starred as Joplin in the Broadway musical "One Night With Janis Joplin." Wall has toured with Big Brother and the Holding Company among many other national acts. Along with other local gigs, he joins the Bad Boys of Blues at their Wednesday and Thursday night jams at Parkview Nite Club and Brothers Lounge, respectively.

Around the time his 70th birthday rolled around, Andrew flew into Cleveland and met with the others. They had been working over some of his material for a little while and were prepped to head into the studio.

"We worked a lot of the tunes out on the fly," Wall says, describing the compositions Andrew had written as fairly loose. "We collaborated a lot."

Coast to Coast (on a Piece of Toast) was recorded at Wall's studio here in Cleveland, Blue Buddha Music Studio.

The group's Kickstarter project is open through Jan. 22. As of Jan. 13, $4,074 of the $8,500 goal had been pledged. Check out the video preview below.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.