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The Sam Chase and The Untraditional & Alex Jordan Band

August 17 @ 7:00 PM - 11:30 PM

The Miners Foundry Cultural Center is pleased to present two exciting bands, The Sam Chase and The Unconventional and Alex Jordan Band on Saturday, August 17, 2024 . Doors and Bar open at 7:00 pm and the show begins at 8:00 pm.

The Sam Chase & The Untraditional hails from San Francisco, California. This juggernaut of a band blends rock n roll with folk music while maintaining the sensibilities and attitudes that come from growing up on a healthy diet of punk rock.

The leader of the band is The Sam Chase himself, a natural storyteller with a voice that sounds as if it has weathered many an epic tale. With boot stomping orchestration and lyrics that have been immortalized on the tattooed skin of their fans, The Sam Chase & The Untraditional doesn’t mess around.

… These are the warriors we need in these troubled times.

“I love Sam Chase. He’s got mischievous eyes and a booming voice. He’s a clever songsmith and a dazzling performer. He was born in the punk scene and raised on the back of Merle Haggard and John Prine and was given dollops of Woody Guthrie in his oatmeal. He’s sensitive and gruff at the same time in equal doses. I call him sensigruff. His voice is so powerful he could’ve cut through the noise on the floor of The New York Stock Exchange in the height of the 80s. Everyone would’ve just shut their pie-holes and listened to what the man had to say. Sam Chase is an American original and a welcome card carrying member of the united family of songwriting troubadours. God bless you Sam Chase.”​ – Steve Poltz

Alex Jordan’s Queen Kerosene is a melting pot of American roots music, stacked high with sharply-written songs that blur the boundaries between genre and generation. Helmed by four-time Grammy Awards winning producer (and longtime Los Lobos member) Steve Berlin, it’s a colorful, kaleidoscopic record whose songs make room for soul, Tex-Mex, groove-driven R&B, Americana, jazz, honky-tonk, and heartland rock & roll.

“I love different tempos, different styles of music, different eras, and different artists,” says Jordan, a Bay Area native whose eclectic career reflects his wide-ranging influences. “As a songwriter, there’s where I’m coming from. I’m coming from a background that spans decades and genres, and Steve helped me boil that down into something specific.”

Queen Kerosene was recorded at The Finishing School in Austin, Texas. The studio was a gear-head’s paradise, filled with vintage instruments and tube pre-amps. Working with a band of Austin-based musicians — including harmony singer Carrie Rodriguez and accordion player Josh Baca (the protege of Norteño icon Flaco Jiménez) — Jordan and Berlin captured the album’s songs in a series of live takes, emphasizing the chemistry of the players in the room. After the instrumental parts were tracked, the two reworked each song tirelessly, with Jordan scrapping more than 50% of the record’s original lyrics in favor of tighter, tauter lines.

The result is a mix of barn burners, piano ballads, Americana anthems, and adventurous explorations of organic roots music. Jordan rides a funky groove during “Tidefall” — a song whose horn arrangement nods to his longtime appreciation for jazz music — and channels Little Feat on the album’s closing track, “Saving Grace.” The title track, “Queen Kerosene,” is heartland rocker for highway drives and unbroken horizons, while “Blue” is a soulful update on The Jayhawks’ original, laced with Hammond organ, a horn section, and sonic swagger inspired by JJ Cale.

Get Tickets!

$22 Standing / Dancing Show with Limited Seating | Advance General Admission

$25 | Door General Admission

Miners Foundry Box Office

Tickets available online or in person at the Miners Foundry Box Office

325 Spring Street, Nevada City CA 95959

Tuesday-Friday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm


Sam Chase, Vocals & Guitar

Sam Chase is a complete phony. From his gruff-voiced affectation to his “man in black” wannabe style, you might get the impression that this man may know a thing or two about a life lived on the outskirts of civil society. You’d be wrong, but you wouldn’t be the first sucker that Samuel has fooled. It’s his ability to rip off so many artists that keeps him from being found out, hiding in plain sight while mixing the intellectual properties of better and more successful artists into his own signature (albeit unoriginal) songwriting style.

A fraud in the highest order, Samuel has traveled from town to town across the world like a door to door salesman, peddling plastic smile snake oil songs and insincere stories that pretend to delve deep into the human experience. Like any good con man, he has the ability, perhaps through his devilish charm, sharp wit, or deep sociopathic need for power and control, to lull his listeners into a trance like submission. They hang onto every word as if it were the midnight gospel of a messianic troubadour, here on earth for only a short while to bring depth and vibrance to a near-sighted and monochromatic world.

It’s hard to fathom how he has managed to maintain a career for so long, having played music consistently since his teens. You’d think the stress of being “found out” as a charlatan would eventually push him into a career more fitting of his skill set and intellect, like a parking lot attendant, or bowling alley shoe disinfecter. However, it’s his rabid fan base that won’t let him be an honest member of society. The fact that good people, honest, hard working, god fearing red blooded Americans could be duped by such a blatantly unoriginal and inauthentic “songwriter” is one of the great mysteries that will perhaps someday be solved by some other songwriter who is actually worth a damn.
– Hunter S. Thompson

Dave Rapa, Bass
Veteran bassist & vocalist Dave Rapa has been rumbling stages across Northern California & beyond for nearly 3 decades. In that time, Dave’s laid down the low frequencies with a wide-ranging roster of artists across many genres, including famed vocalist Eric Martin, hard rock founding father Ronnie Montrose, guitarist extraordinaire Michael Lee Firkins, 80’s Pop Idol Tiffany, comedians Reggie Watts & Awkwafina, actor Wil Wheaton and many more.

A SAMMIE*- award winning bassist & multi-instrumentalist, Dave’s deep musical talents, passionately diverse performance style, and energetically-engaging stage presence have earned him an unshakeable reputation as a force-to-be-reckoned-with, both in the studio and live onstage.
— Sacramento Area Music Award, Best Bassist 2003

Zachary Thorne, Trumpet
It was the year 2017. It was a simpler time. Or maybe it wasn’t, we don’t know your life. Zachary Thorne heard a little rumor that The Sam Chase was missing a horn section. Being a one-person horn section themself, Zachary began to scheme. The fruit of this scheme? An elaborate two year plot to become… Untraditional. After a year of strategically placing themselves in bands that shared shows with Sam, and another year of being an infrequent guest Untraditional, Sam invited Zachary to bring their extensive classical training to bear recording The Last Rites of Dallas Pistol. The rest, as they say, is history.

Devon McClive, Cello
Devon McClive was trained by a cello guru in the Appalachian mountains. She has been a member of this band since its inception back in 2011 and has earned more tour nicknames than any other member of The Untraditional. When she isn’t playing stages around the world with Sam, you will find her performing and publishing music with her own band or making up nonsense songs for her son.

Chandra Johnson, Violin
“One midwinter, far north, at midnight, on a cliff above a raging sea, two unsuspecting fish biologists welcomed their new daughter to the world.

They had no idea their brown-eyed bundle would go onto break hearts and melt faces.
Raised in rugged rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula, Chandra Johnson was drawn by fate to the violin at age 9. Her nonmusical family watched with fascination as she poured hours and hours into her chosen instrument. At 18, Chandra bade a tearful farewell to her wilderness home and left for the big city of Bellingham, WA to with big dreams of becoming a professional classical violinist.

Chandra went on to establish herself in the PNW music scene, performing and recording internationally with artists including Courtney Marie Andrews, Mary Lambert, Macklemore, The Clumsy Lovers, Allen Stone, Kuinka, and many others. She met and won over Sam Chase in 2016 and has been a dedicated member of the Untraditional ever since, following Sam from coast to coast and across the ocean, onwards towards glory. “

Nathan Dittle, Keys
Meet Nate, the keyboard player in the Untraditional. Nate grew up in a small town in Illinois. There he fell in love with music playing drums in local punk bands.
Nate moved to Cotati to study Jazz at Sonoma State University. Nate can be found in the wild playing with a multitude of bay area bands. Offstage, Nate likes doing kickflips, welding and playing pool.
ChatGPT: Write a bio for Nate, a keyboard player in Sam Chase’s band in the style of Shakespeare.
Oh, let me tell thee of a fellow named Nate,
Whose fingers dance on keys with graceful gait.
A musician bold, in Sam Chase’s band,
He doth with melody enchant the land.
His skill upon the ivories is rare,
And none can match the beauty of his flair.
Forsooth, his touch doth bring the sound to life,
And fills the air with music free from strife.
In every tune that Sam doth sing,
Nate’s playing adds a lovely ring.
Together, they do weave a tapestry of sound,
That lifts the hearts of all who are around.
But Nate is not content to rest on skill alone,
He strives to master his craft and make it known.
With diligence and passion, he doth pursue,
The perfect notes that will enchant anew.
Thus doth Nate, the keyboardist of Sam Chase’s band,
Bring forth the music of a most delightful brand.
May his fingers continue to dance upon the keys,
And fill the world with joyous harmonies.

Ted Desmarais, Drums
Ted Desmarais moved from a sleepy, little New England town to San Francisco in the fall of 2008—completely on a whim. At the end of 2013 he joined up with (The) Sam Chase on a similar whim. Both turned out to be two of the best decisions he ever made. (We won’t get into some of his other, more questionable decisions here). He began playing the drums in the 4th grade because the school music teacher wouldn’t let him play guitar or bass. (The nerve!) Fortunately for all (except, possibly, his family’s eardrums), drumming turned out to be the perfect instrument for an endlessly fidgety child about two decades away from an ADHD diagnosis (this was before we could just find that out from an Internet video).

Convinced that hitting things ferociously with sticks would take him on journey most could only dream of, our young hero kicked, snared and crashed his way through adolescence; and became a slightly-less fidgety adult who could remember every song lyric he ever heard, but never what time he had to be somewhere. You win some, you lose some. He still (despite several moves away) resides in San Francisco and his current kit is a custom set crafted by the good folks at Allegra Drums.

When he isn’t onstage with the Untraditional, he can be found arguing with his two cats about who tracked litter into the bed again.

Nikko Rios, Electric Guitar
Nikko Rios was a talented guitarist from San Francisco, but he had a secret identity that few knew about. He was also a superhero, and he used his music to fight against evil forces that threatened the world.

One day, while performing with his band, The Sam Chase and the Untraditional, Nikko received a distress call from his superhero mentor. It seemed that an evil villain had created a powerful device that could control the minds of millions of people, and he was planning to use it to take over the world.

Nikko knew he had to act fast, so he quickly grabbed his guitar and gathered his bandmates. Together, they set out to stop the villain and his dastardly plan.
As they approached the villain’s lair, Nikko began to play a powerful riff on his guitar. The music was so intense that it shook the ground beneath their feet, and the villain’s minions trembled in fear. But the villain himself was not affected, and he laughed as he activated his mind-control device.

However, Nikko wasn’t giving up so easily. He continued to play, channeling all his energy and strength into the music. Suddenly, a burst of light erupted from his guitar, and the villain was thrown back by the force of the sound waves.

The device was destroyed, and the people were free from the villain’s control. Nikko and his bandmates had saved the world once again with their music.
From that day on, Nikko Rios was not just a talented guitarist, but a hero who used his music to fight against evil and protect the world. And The Sam Chase and the Untraditional were no longer just a band, but a force for good that brought hope and joy to all who heard them play.


Before Jordan released his own music, he earned his stripes as a multi-instrumentalist, playing with bands on the West Coast for the better part of a decade. He was a musical Swiss Army knife — a road warrior whose ability to play guitar, piano, and Hammond B3 organ had already landed him onstage with icons like Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and Peter Rowan. Raised by a high school music teacher in San Mateo County, he first began playing music as a child, picking up the jazz trombone in middle school before transitioning to electric guitar as a teenager. The discovery of his great-grandfather’s swing-era songbook introduced him to a broader style of American music, as did the community of friends he met at Phil Lesh’s local music venue, Terrapin Crossroads. Jordan began studying the great American songwriters — not just the jazz composers he’d discovered as a child, but rootsy acts like Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and Crosby, Stills & Nash, too. Years later, while playing an opening set at Levon Helm’s barn in upstate New York, Jordan found himself blown away by the evening’s headliner: Hayes Carll.

“Hayes’ songs were so well-crafted,” Jordan remembers. “I’d been spending a lot of time in the jam world, and that style of music requires a lot of improvisation. I’ve always been a bigger fan of songwriting, though. I’m a fan of craft. That’s why I like the Grateful Dead; they’re songwriters.”

Jordan was a songwriter, too, even though his work as a sideman didn’t allow him the opportunity to showcase those skills. Inspired to create music of his own, he found a partner in Steve Berlin, who both championed and challenged Jordan’s musical instincts. The process of making Queen Kerosene was equal parts gratifying and grueling, with Berlin pushing Jordan to reach a new edge by sharpening his songwriting. “He was really tough on me,” Jordan says of his collaborator. “Steve pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me work hard on my lyrics. He said, ‘You’re a good singer, but you need to become a better storyteller, too.’ We went through every song on the album, line by line, to make sure everything was clear, concise, specific, and relatable at the same time. The experience changed me as a writer. It made me fearless.”

That fearlessness is on full display through Queen Kerosene. Many of the album’s songs find their narrator in some sort of transit, searching for the next destination amidst life’s trials and triumphs. Queen Kerosene explores the connections we all make during those journeys. “My goal as a writer is to say, ‘Hey, you’re not alone; someone else besides you went through this very same thing,'” says Jordan. “Other people can share the journey with you.”

For Alex Jordan, that journey has led him to a solo album that’s every bit as incendiary as title suggests. After playing other artists’ music for years, he’s taking a step forward as a frontman and songwriter, shining his light on a signature sound that pays tribute to timeless American music. It’s a sound influenced by the best parts of the past, yet still firmly rooted in the present. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a sound of his very own.


August 17
7:00 PM - 11:30 PM