Hey, all of you who love country music...all of you who enjoy the songs of real life...songs that speak directly to our own life experiences - love, loss, romance, and heartbreak, country livin'. May 11 - SAVE THE DATE!

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
Hey, all of you who love country music...all of you who enjoy the songs of real life...songs that speak directly to our own life experiences - love, loss, romance, and heartbreak, country livin'. May 11 - SAVE THE DATE!
Embassy Theatre, located in historic downtown Cumberland on the pedestrian mall at 49 Baltimore St.is now offering tickets for its upcoming concert "Getting Some Country with Sam Grow" on Friday night, May 11.
Where else will you find a musician on his way up, and a musician who is right there in the midst of Nashville - making a big splash and heading for the big time. Sam Grow, who has opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd and Trace Adkins and other notable stars, has added Embassy Theatre to his 2018 tour.
Jason McDonald - well, there is just NO ONE more perfect to open for Grow.
Jason has some chops himself, and he has a strong mellow voice with a terrific range. When he sings and plays his guitar, that music...it speaks. Jason has the ability to pull the audience right into his music, and his version of "Tears From Heaven?" Well, you feel you are right there, crying for the loss of your young child just like Eric Clapton, the writer of this song.
Jason, formerly of Keyser, where he grew up in a large family, is now a resident of Ridgeley, with his beautiful wife Carrie and a house full of dogs and cats. He will open the concert at 7 p.m., and Sam Grow takes the stage at 8 p.m.
Tickets will be sold in advance of the event, with only 150 tickets available. Cost per ticket is $20, and ARE NOW available through Eventbrite or at the theatre until sold out. There will be NO tickets available at the door. So, ya gotta get your tickets now, y'all!
Music has been part of Sam Grow's life ever since he took his first breath. Born in southern Maryland to a blue-collar powerline worker, Sam's first taste of music was none other than the King of Rock n Roll - Elvis Presley. Sam was always envious of his father's Elvis-like singing voice and his older sister who excelled at playing piano and singing. The Grow family attended the Winfield Baptist Church, where 5-year-old Sam was able to dabble with music on a more serious level.
“The ladies who did the music there at church would let me strum on their guitars or play on the piano,” reflects Sam. “I wanted so bad to be like my sister because she knew how to play all this stuff already.”
By the time Sam was in his teen years, he knew one crucial piece of the puzzle was missing for him to further his musical talent, so Sam asked his father for his first guitar. “He told me I had to show him that I was going to put an effort into learning guitar, but he also said if I came back and played him Green Day, he wouldn't give me anything!” he laughs. “It had to have substance, and coming from my dad, that meant guys like Elvis, Sam Cooke and Willie Nelson.”
Just a couple of years later, Sam made music his full time priority. He began touring and playing shows anywhere he could, including local bars for tips on Wednesday nights. “I would have to sneak in because I was definitely not old enough to be in there,” grins Sam.
Part of the refocus on music included packing up his bags and making Nashville his permanent home in 2013. Sam wasted no time building relationships within the music industry, including hit producer Matt McClure (Lee Brice). That friendship opened many doors for Sam, including one with John Ozier at ole Music Publishing who inked the Maryland native to his first deal writing songs.
Sam released his debut self-titled EP in 2014, gaining him chart success at No. 8 on the iTunes Country Albums chart. His most recent compilation of music, The Blame, made its charting debut at No. 5 on iTunes, No. 8 on Billboard's Current Country Albums chart and No. 2 on its Top New Artist Albums chart following first week's sales of 3,383 units sold.
Sam’s high-octane stage show keeps the crowds coming night after night. Sam prides himself on his passion for performing. “Playing live is literally the reason I do this,” Sam says. “I feel like music and shows take you away from real life for a minute. Every time that I walk on stage, I don't remember or care about anything else. It's my time to forget, and hopefully that translates to everybody else in the crowd.”
Judging by the way his career path has gone so far, looks like Sam Grow is doing more than just translating his music to his audiences. “Getting radio airplay and getting somebody new to come out to a show who's never seen us before and know the lyrics to the song is a whole new humbling experience,” says Sam. “Especially because all my stuff I write is personal, real life. I love Luke Bryan, but I'm not going to write 'Hunting, Fishing and Loving Every Day,' because I don't hunt and fish every day, so I can't sing a song like that. But heartache, bar rooms and real-life stuff, that's what I like to sing about because that's what I live."
“Everybody has their ideas of 'making it,'” he continues. “For me, I've already made it. All I ever wanted to do in my life was to play music, so I'm blessed and fortunate enough to get to do that.”
Opening for headliner Sam Grow will be home-grown artist Jason McDonald, who will take the stage at 7 p.m. at Embassy Theatre. Sam and his band will then take the stage for the main event at approximately 8 p.m.
Jason uses strong vocals accompanied by guitar to perform songs by Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, Elvis and more.
He started playing guitar and singing at the age of 14, and quickly developed a love of music. He has been playing in local venues off and on for the last thirty years. Within the last year, he has played at places such as The Churchill Pub, The Gin Mill, Puccini's, The Moonshadow Cafe, Wilma's Diner, Hoover's Bar and Grill, Artist and Dreamers and Embassy Theatre, among others. He has also performed at many open mics and several local benefits.
Jason was nominated and chosen as one of the "Most Fascinating People of the Year" in Allegany Magazine's 2017 December issue. He was also one of 14 acts chosen to perform at Eddie Deezen's Talent Show at the Embassy Theatre this past October. Videos of Jason's performances, as well as his upcoming events, can be found on his Facebook page - Jason McDonald Music.
"Thing I love the most, I mean absolutely the most about playing music is the fact that it is such a battle with yourself. You as a musician are your very best friend or your your worst enemy. The battle within the mind is epic...it makes me feel like I'm growing and getting stronger as a human being every time I square up against myself," says Jason.
Tickets can be purchased several ways, while supplies last: 1) stop in to Embassy Theatre, Monday through Friday noon-4 pm, or 2) call (240) 362-7183 and pay for your ticket over the phone, or 3) visit embassytheatrecumberland on Facebook and pay for your ticket on Eventbrite.
Here is the Facebook link:
This concert at Embassy Theatre is supported in part by Maryland State Arts Council, The Allegany Arts Council and the City of Cumberland.
Gettin' Some Country - yes I think I will. I want to be there - hearing songs that come right from the heart, from everyday life. In an intimate theatre setting with fans of Grow and McDonald, with the best acoustics around. Yep, you betcha I will be there. How 'bout you?