Thanks to Sam Phillips, owner of Sam’s Place at 103 N. Parkerson Ave., and his wife Rebecca, things have gradually changed over the past two years. Phillips, who took over Sam’s Place from his father two years ago, has been working hard at not only bringing shows to Crowley, but making Sam’s a location that big name acts are now seeking out. The bar now features live music that ranges from rock to blues to live acoustic sets.
Sam and Rebecca have been consistently traveling to Lafayette to scout out bands that they would like to play at their club. Over the past two years, things have gotten much easier for the couple due to their club’s “relaxed atmosphere” and by simple word of mouth.
“Now we have bands calling us,” said Rebecca.
Some of the larger bands that have come to Crowley recently have been Lafayette’s The Ashley Evans Band, The Kyle Turley Project (featuring the ex-New Orleans Saints lineman on guitar) and, most recently, Dax Riggs.
“We try to bring in different music on a regular basis,” said Sam. “I’ve seen bands that overbook at places and they’ll play three times a week and they get overexposed. People get bored of them.
“I try not to have a band from out of town play more often than once a month,” he added. ”I like to mix it up.”
With the help of supporters such as Patrick Musumeche and Kenny Kegley, those bands are becoming much easier to attract.
“Patrick helped us to get the Kyle Turley Band in here a few months back and works with us to draw bands from other areas,” said Sam.
According to local musician Casey Faulk, a talented, young guitarist from Crowley who is in four different bands that play frequently at Sam’s, Phillips’ club has been great for the Crowley music scene.
“It’s really a great, relaxing atmosphere (a sign in front of the bar warns that anyone who fights ‘will not only be arrested, but will have to pay $500 to come back’) that has been a good place for area musicians to play,” said Faulk. “They’ve recently been pulling in big name bands and those bands seem like they all want to come back.”
“Sam and Rebecca Phillips are the type of club owners that all musicians wish to work with,” said drummer Eric Faulk of the Ashley Evans Band. “They treat the bands like family, by going above and beyond to host a band.
“I’ll never forget the first gig playing with The Ashley Evans Band,” he continued. “They actually cooked a hot meal for the band and had it waiting backstage for us. Sam and Rebecca appreciate live music and continue to make improvements that make a gig at Sam’s Place simple and, most importantly, a blast. Sam’s Place is just what Crowley needs to enjoy local and nationally recognized bands.”
Among the improvements that Sam’s Place is looking to add in the near future are an outdoor patio and expanding into the empty lot that lies between Sam’s and Phillips’ other business, American Dream Choppers. The additional space will nearly double the club’s capacity.
In a city that has been fertile ground for a live music venue, it seems that the sky’s the limit for Sam’s Place. It also marks what could be the birth of Crowley as a city that is known for its music as well as its rice.