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Sammy Rae and The Friends Bring The Camp Tour to NY

Sammy Rae and The Friends recently brought “The Camp Tour” to Huntington, NY. This seven membered group provides their audiences with nothing short of a fun night.

Sammy Rae and The Friends is a funk/jazz/pop group with upbeat groovy songs that make you want to dance. The band includes a host of talented musicians who play a myriad of instruments. The band describes their sound as “rooted in classic rock, folk, and funk and sprinkled with soul and jazz. Complete with a rhythm section, two saxophones, keyboards, and plenty of percussion.” Sammy Rae fronts the band and acts as lead vocalist while the rest of the group contributes to the music by playing the multitude of instruments that littered the venue stage.

Debbie Tojong caught my attention as she juggled playing two keyboards at the same time and continued to jump around playing a ton of different instruments including (my personal favorite of the night) the melodica. I had a giggle watching some of the band members toward the back of the stage adding their own impressive dance moves during some numbers and even acting out what seemed to be entire character plots of their own. Everyone on stage looked like they were having the best time performing.

The Band

Although Sammy fronts the band and does most of the talking during the show, she was sure to give each band member their fair share of deserved attention. I noticed and appreciated that Sammy would step to the side when someone else on stage was having an instrument solo, or how she would shout out the names of bandmates who contributed in different ways to making the group’s music. She bounced all around the stage, dancing and singing with each person throughout the night.

Sammy and the rest of “the friends” have wonderful energy. They shared messages of inclusion and acceptance throughout the night which I think added to the already prevalent abundance of joy the audience was exuding. Everyone in the building danced and sang along to the length of the setlist. During the song “Denim Jacket”, one fan passed their own denim jacket up to the stage for Sammy to wear. It had been embroidered on the back with Sammy Rae and The Friends logos and other band-themed embellishments.

Sammy took a moment to let everyone know what a terrific crowd they’d been that night and even got a bit emotional while sharing her appreciation. She mentioned that she’d noticed a gold plaque on the stage floor stating that Billy Joel had performed on that very spot years ago. The rest of the band left the stage while Sammy performed a solo version of Billy Joel’s “The River of Dreams” on the ukulele.

This performance exceeded my expectations and was a true expression of how music by Sammy Rae and The Friends has made me feel while listening to it myself. I encourage anyone and everyone to see this group live.

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