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

Professor Matt Toerey.
Studium Generale presents ‘Zen and the Art of Chickenman’

PORT ANGELES —Peninsula College English Professor Matt Teorey will present his study,… Continue reading

"Seahorse," by Pat Herkal is among the textile artworks on display at the Northwind Art Grover Gallery.
Undersea exhibit showcases textile arts

Textile artists’ varied views of the Salish Sea are… Continue reading

North Olympic Library System scheduled book discussions for April

The North Olympic Library System will continue online book… Continue reading

NAY-Geologylecture-PHOTO-PDN-210406

CAPTION: Trevor Contreras will address the Quimper Geological Society on Saturday
Geology, carving lecture slated in Port Townsend

Trevor Contreras will present “The Geology and Art of… Continue reading

Port Townsend Marine Science Center Executive Director Janine Boire plans to welcome the public back to the center starting Saturday at the Fort Worden-based aquarium. The center will be open Saturdays and Sundays with reservations beginning this weekend. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)
Port Townsend Marine Science Center partially reopens

Weekend visits will require reservations for on-site visitors

Clarinetist Jonathan Doyle, complete with an aerosol-masking instrument cover, jazzed up the Haller Fountain in downtown Port Townsend in the first “Buskers on the Block” gig. The series will showcase local musicians Thursdays and Saturdays through May. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Free music series has begun in Port Townsend

Buskers scheduled through May in Main Street program

Friends of the Sequim Library to hold book sale

The Friends of the Sequim Library will… Continue reading

Ballet Victoria — whose dancers have included Julia Jones Whitehead and Tymin McKeown, seen in 2019 — is among the dozens of performing ensembles to appear in the 2021 Juan de Fuca Festival, a blend of in-person and virtual shows May 28-31. Passes for the virtual festival are on sale now. Tickets for in-person shows will be available later this month. For information about the festival and its COVID-19 safety protocols, see JFFA.org under the Festival menu; the Juan de Fuca Foundation office phone is 360-457-5411. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Festival passes on sale

whose dancers have included Julia Jones Whitehead and Tymin… Continue reading

“Passing Cloud,” by Sydni Sterling, is featured in Artist Showcase 2021.
Twenty-one artists featured in Artist Showcase 2021

Northwind Art presents Artist Showcase 2021, the gallery’s first… Continue reading

Virtual home tour tickets on sale now

Tickets are on sale now for the 23rd Annual… Continue reading

Margaret Randall
Poet, photographer, essayist, activist Margaret Randall to read works

Margaret Randall — poet, essayist, oral historian, translator, photographer… Continue reading