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Published: 2008/04/11

Last Transmissions from the Samples

After over 20 years on the road, the Samples have officially parted ways. The group, which formed in Colorado in 1987, came of age during the second generation boom and counted Phish, Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors as their peers. While they certainly improvised on stage, the Samples were also known for their pop-hooks and helped launch the careers of likeminded bands such as Dave Matthews Band, Hootie & the Blowfish and Dispatch. The Samples clocked in time on several H.O.R.D.E. tours and even headlined at Red Rocks. Like many jambands, the group was swooped up by a major label in the mid-1990s, which resulted in 1996s Outpost. 1997s live/studio hybrid Transmissions from the Sea of Tranquility was the last Samples album to feature core members Jeep MacNichol and Al Laughlin. Since then lead singer/guitarist Sean Kelly has led a group of rotating players under the Samples name. In recent years, some of the groups longtime fans have subsidized the Samples touring efforts. In total, the group has released over 20 albums since 1989.

In a message posted on his MySpace page, Kelly said the following:

I want start by saying that I may be able to write songs and play a guitar but my spelling and grammar has never been my best asset. I am usually pretty good however in getting my point across none the less. So if you notice some words out of place go easy on me. I am writing this email on a beautiful spring Vermont night way up on the 45th parallel. Lake Champlain is outside sleeping and I have a few updates regarding The Samples.
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. I have also canceled any and all upcoming Samples dates. I sincerely apologize for the recent cancellations, I have only canceled two shows in 22 years and I always do my best to prevent this anyway possible.

From all the beautiful landscapes across America, to the bus engine roaring under my bed. Its been a long and beautiful ride with endless and difficult ups and downs that I would not trade for anything. I put my heart and soul into every show, and on every record. I hope that it translated. I feel a bit like Forest Gump when he stopped running, turned around and said I think I am going to go home now. I have been such a driving force in The Samples that I never stopped to notice how I have neglected many aspects of myself and many of the other things that used to really make me happy.
Such a beautiful thing so unprotected, endangered, rare and one of a kind!
_I welcome change, perseverance and any ideas to incorporate into my solo career. I am very much exited to pursue many different and new challenges. _

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