Singer-songwriter Sami Jo has played dozens of writers rounds since moving to Nashville from Redding, California two years ago. It was after one of those rounds that she ordered a drink from the bar and got the idea for her latest single – Blue Moon. “It’s kind of like a play on words, like the moon in the sky and also the beverage,” she explains.
Citing the Beatles and Tom Petty as the biggest influences on her music, Sami Jo wrote Blue Moon as a country rock song. Nashville musician Steve Goodie ( at the famous Bluebird Café) played all the instruments on the track. The music video was produced by Dan O’Callahan. Watch the exclusive premiere of the official music video for Blue Moon below.
Sami Jo’s interest in music began when she was in ninth grade. Walking by her older brother Matt’s bedroom one day, she picked up an old guitar he had as a decoration (see photo). She watched YouTube videos and learned to play a few chords. She had always enjoyed writing stories and poems, and discovered that learning to play the guitar opened up a whole new world of possibilities. “I started writing my own songs. That drove my passion, and I never stopped.”
During her high school years, Sami Jo played weekly shows around her hometown – mixing her original music in with covers of classic rock and traditional country songs. Like many aspiring singer-songwriters, she dreamed of playing Nashville’s famous Bluebird Café, which typically requires a live audition. Sami Jo mailed a letter and CD to the Bluebird, and – six months later – got an invitation to come play at a writers round. Sami Jo says, “That was the most exciting day ever!” It was on that trip to Nashville with her parents that she fell in love with Music City.
After graduating from high school and getting an Associate’s Degree in creative writing, she decided that getting a four-year degree would be her Plan B. “I had a lot of pressure to stay in college, but I just really wanted to do this music thing and see what happened with it.” Sami Jo admits it was hard to leave her family behind in California, but felt like she needed to pursue her passion wholeheartedly. “Everybody here (in Nashville) is doing the same thing I want to do, and they’re here putting their time in. It takes being present.”
Since moving to Nashville, Sami Jo has signed a publishing deal and has written nearly a hundred songs. For one of those songs, she borrowed a move from Taylor Swift’s playbook and wrote a song to get payback (in a fun sort of way) for a date that went south. “I don’t know if he ever saw it, but it made me feel like I got a little revenge there.” Watch the music video for Hey Morgan below.
Sami Jo will be playing shows in Tennessee and California later this month. After that, she will be working on releasing her first EP. “I want to make songs that speak to people and cause some sort of emotion.” One of her goals is to put together a band, especially now that she has a room for band rehearsal in the new home she just bought!
For Sami Jo’s tour schedule and more info, go to www.samijosongs.com
Her music is available on iTunes and Spotify.
FUN FACTS AND TRIVIA
Named her Taylor guitar “Paul”
Favorite book(s) and movie(s): Harry Potter
Best place in Nashville to take family/friends from out of town: Pancake Pantry
Best concert: Paul McCartney
Favorite songs to cover: American Girl (Tom Petty); Any Man of Mine (Shania Twain); Take it on the Run (REO Speedwagon)
Musical influences: Shania Twain, Miranda Lambert, Beatles, Tom Petty, Loretta Lynn