Singer Sam Chase, seen at a mural in Eugene, Ore., will give a free online performance Friday via the Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts’ YouTube channel. (Photo courtesy The Sam Chase)

Singer Sam Chase, seen at a mural in Eugene, Ore., will give a free online performance Friday via the Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts’ YouTube channel. (Photo courtesy The Sam Chase)

Singer-guitarist to perform free virtual concert

Live streams make trying times bearable for rock musician

PORT ANGELES — Right up front, The Sam Chase gets to the point.

“Music and performing are the life blood of my soul,” said the singer-guitarist, who’s poised to do an “In [Your] Living Room” concert this Friday via the Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts.

The show is free and will be broadcast on JFFA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page at 6 p.m. To watch, visit JFFA.org/live.

Chase, who lives in San Francisco, has strong connections to Port Angeles for a few reasons. The violinist in his band, The Sam Chase and the Untraditional, is Chandra Johnson, who grew up in Port Angeles; together they’ve played the Juan de Fuca Festival and other venues around town many a time.

These days Chase is a solo act, pouring out his gritty vocals in live-streamed performances he says have made all the difference.

“I have done more than 50 live streams since COVID started,” he said. “I thank my lucky stars that the technology has come as far as it has, because not only did it help me pay my bills and stay above water financially, but it helped me far more emotionally,” making a trying year bearable.

Alongside Chase’s folk-flavored rock ’n’ roll, his sense of humor sets the artist apart, said JFFA Executive Director Kayla Oakes.

“He has a background in standup comedy,” she said. “He’s so at ease, telling stories and guiding the crowd into a song.

“I’ve heard him with a full band, and I’ve seen him do acoustic sets,” Oakes added.

In Friday’s show, it’ll be Chase and his guitar. Oakes said she looks forward to hearing his songs up close, delivered with Chase’s singular style.

“He pulls you into whatever space it was that helped him create a song,” she said, “and he’s thoroughly entertaining.”

Chase is known as The Sam Chase thanks to his cockeyed way of approaching the San Francisco music scene. When he was getting started, bookers wanted bands, not solo acts. So he added “The” to make himself sound more like a band.

An actual ensemble formed later; between the two of them, The Sam Chase and the Untraditional have since released 10 albums. The latest is 2019’s live record, “Lost and Found: Live at the Lost Sierra Hoedown.”

These days, the live-streamed gigs take imagination, Chase said.

The hardest part in the beginning was learning how to look into his computer’s webcam and see an audience on the other side of the lens.

“You know that somehow on the other end of that series of tubes there is another lonely human who wants to be recognized,” he said. “Keeping that in mind and knowing that some of them depend on me just as much as I depend on them gives me all the energy I need.”

“I make it known to them how much it means to me to have them here … I think we kind of feel like we are not only there to be entertained, but also to supply a service and space for us to congregate to let everyone know we are doing OK.”

This is the third online “In [Your] Living Room” show from the Juan de Fuca Foundation. Another live-streamed concert is planned for March 26.

Featuring the band FarmStrong, it will be a benefit for Studio Bob, the downtown Port Angeles event space that has remained closed since last March.

JFFA is also the presenter of the annual music, dance and art festival in multiple venues around Port Angeles since 1992.

Oakes and her team are planning a virtual festival for May 28-31, with a few in-person events possible.

Chase is a devoted fan of JFFA, its festival and its variety of performers, which have ranged from blues singers to ballet dancers.

“I hope that they all understand just how much the festival means to the bands who come from far and wide,” he said.

“You’ve got something special going, and because of that, so do we. I can’t wait to play to a PA crowd once again, but until then, come hang out” Friday evening.

“Let yourself be known in the chat, so I can imagine your beautiful face” through that webcam.

________

Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]

Sam Chase, seen at Olympic Cellars in Port Angeles, will give a free online performance Friday evening. The Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts will present the “In Living Room” show at 6 p.m. (Photo courtesy Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts)

Sam Chase, seen at Olympic Cellars in Port Angeles, will give a free online performance Friday evening. The Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts will present the “In Living Room” show at 6 p.m. (Photo courtesy Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts)

More in Entertainment

Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group 

Denny Henson of NW Rustic Cuts works on carved bears at the Logging Show at the Sequim Irrigation Festival on Friday. The show continues today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. as well as a variety of other events during the festival’s grand finale weekend. The highlight will be the Grand Parade through downtown Sequim from noon to 1:30 p.m. today. For more information, see irrigationfestival.com and facebook.com/SequimIrrigationFestival.
Art with bear hands at Irrigation Festival

Denny Henson of NW Rustic Cuts works on carved bears at the… Continue reading

Prelude canceled; Juan de Fuca Fest to go on

The Prelude to a Festival has been canceled, but… Continue reading

Sam Chase and his band, the Untraditional, will be among the performers at a new event, a prelude to the upcoming Juan de Fuca Festival.
‘Prelude to a Festival’ Sunday at Elks ballroom

Concert will include blend of music and space for dancing

Chicago Bob Longmire, pictured playing solo at the Rothschild House last summer, will bring the Midnight Train Blues Band to Port Townsend’s Discovery Bay Brewing Co. for the monthly blues jam starting Sunday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
First blues jam of season set for Sunday

Midnight Train Blues Band to lead session

Cabled Fiber & Yarn owner Beth Witters will demonstrate weaving on Saturday.
Second Saturday Art Walk offers demonstrations, artwork

The Second Saturday Art Walk offers free demonstrations and… Continue reading

Boat school’s Hull Raiser this weekend

The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding will host a… Continue reading

Guest conductor Jolene Dalton Gailey of Port Angeles leads the RainShadow Chorale in rehearsal for two concerts in Chimacum this week. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Music, poetry: ‘The Illumination of My Soul’

Guest conductor to lead RainShadow Chorale performance

Petals & Pathway Tour tickets go on sale Saturday

The Master Gardener Foundation of Clallam County is bringing… Continue reading

Most Read