Ironing Board Sam & the Sticks

inIroning Board Samon July 9, 2014


In October 2012, Simon Arcache and Raphaël Evrard, students from the prestigious Toulouse University, a business school, convinced their professors to allow them to spend a year of college credit interning with the Music Maker Relief Foundation. The day they arrived we took them to the Music Maker studio where they met Ironing Board Sam and they attempted to jam bass and guitar with him. Afterwards they were over the moon. “We had no idea of how to follow him, he did no basic changes. We really met the blues.” In the following year Simon and Raphaël rented an apartment next door to Sam; they were proud to be his roadies and drive him to all his shows. They spent countless nights in our studio, wood-shedding and learning to play the blues.

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Within a few months they became Sam’s back up band. Sam told them that in a past life very long ago, he had invented the drum with a hollow log, and he felt Simon and Raphaël were the sticks he used. Thus “Ironing Board Sam and the Sticks” was born.  A few weeks before Simon and Raphaël had to leave, Ironing Board Sam offered to go in the studio and record with them. His idea for the album was not to prepare at all, but to make up all the songs on the spot and they would follow. On this album you hear a very creative songwriter singing and backing himself off the cuff as his young devotees add their exuberant experience into this incredible session.


Throughout Ironing Board Sam’s over 50 years in music he has mentored countless musicians. In the 1960’s, Sam would hypnotize his drummer George every night before performing so he could keep up with Sam’s quick tempos. While living in Nashville during the same decade, Ironing Board Sam’s stage performance was inspiration to a young Jimi Hendrix. When taking a trip through New Orleans, where Ironing Board Sam spent 30 years, it is impossible to find a performer that hasn’t been imprinted by the wonder of Sam’s magical presence.

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