About Sam Kelly

New Album


A personal project to create an album which covers a multitude of musical genres in one.

“No Barricades is a seriously good album by some of the best – and I mean best – musicians in the UK.  Or anywhere, come to that”…….Paul Jones (BBC Radio 2)

My band’s latest album is available on Itunes, Amazon, Spotify and at all shows. Alternatively please contact via website or email info@ffarcottonpromotions.co.uk

Sam, Paul, Tony, Richard, Jerome, Rowena and Christophe thank you for your continued support.Echoes “Sam Kelly’s craftsmanship & musicality create a broad spectrum of moods & his dynamism brings every number vividly to life”. RnR Mag “Kelly’s driving drum work is seriously stylish throughout yet it doesn’t hog the show, instead allowing this stunning ‘groove band’ to flourish” Rhythm Magazine “Groove so smooth it’s on rails” Rhythm & Booze “There’s a hell of a lot to like about this album” Music News “A long time coming but Sam Kelly’s Station House deliver a positive stunner” The-Rocker.co.uk “certainly a good album” Blues in Britain “Excellent & varied CD” Blues Matters “A very good release full of vim and vigour a masterpiece of musicianship”.  Blues in the South “This is an auditory master class in drum techniques” Polish Twoj Blues  “a nicely varied set that brings together all of Sam’s vast experience, including elements of Jamaican reggae and ska, funk and soul, and even some South African jazz” Pipeline Goldbits “SAM KELLY’S STATION HOUSE, led by drummer Sam Kelly, have their first album in a decade with No Barricades (Roxbro 003).  There is an interesting funky blues instrumental with Mr. Fake and a lovely Caribbean/South African jazz groover in Wanna Talk About It”  



So you know where I’m coming from…


Sam started playing back in in the early ’70s on a kit that belonged to his brother.  Back in those days, playing the drums was his form of “anger management” – but out of that came discipline, creativity and obviously some musical talent!!


In the early 70’s, Sam joined his very first band, “CYMANDE”.  Although not well known in the UK, Cymande worked in the USA, successfully touring to promote 3 albums which were released on the Janus label, a subsidiary of Chess records (part of the 2nd album was recorded at Chess studios, Chicago).  Cymande’s music has retained a cult following over the years and even today the name is still well known by the new generation of successful garage, hip-hop and rap artists who have sampled several of the original tracks.


In 2010 core members (Patrick, Steve, Sam, Mike, Pablo and Derrick)  reunited after some 35 years, to reignite the Cymande “flame”.   They were joined by Ray Carless (sax), Adrian Reid (keys), Trevor White (vocals) and, to the delight of their fans Worldwide,  the band recorded a new album “A Simple Act of Faith”  with their original producer, John Schroeder.  This has been released on the Cherry Red label.  In early 2016, due to health issues, Trevor White stopped performing and lead vocalist, Ray Simpson joined the band.   Cymande were very excited to return to The States during June 2016 after a 43-year break.   Mike Rose had other commitments and was unable to make the trip so saxophonist, Desmond Atwell (who use to play with Cymande in the ’70s) flew in from Guyana and rejoined the band.  The tour was an amazing success.   After the tour in the States, Desmond returned to Guyana and Cymande welcomed trumpeter/flugelhorn player, Kevin Davy to the line-up.     


In 2007, Sam was involved in BBC3’s Soul Britannia season at the Barbican. He took on the role of Musical Director, leading his own band, Sam Kelly’s Station House, as the rhythm section for the Soul Britannia Allstars Review.  This Review included Madeline Bell, Linda Lewis, Hamish Stewart, Carol Grimes and the Cymande All Stars featuring Jimmy Lindsay.

Providing a rhythm section for respected, established musicians is where Sam Kelly’s Station House show their musical ability and professional commitment.  Here is their performance over two nights at Paul Jones’ Charity Christmas Show at Cranleigh Arts Centre:

And again with Chicago Beau at Burghausen Jazz Festival in Germany


Sam is currently drumming with Ma Bessie and her Blues Troupe, Ben Waters, Geoff Achison and the UK Souldiggers,  Papa George Band, Blues Bentley, Stompin’ Dave and Earl Jackson.  Early in 2008, Sam went into the studio to record the rhythm tracks for the late great, Gary Moore’s last R&B album, ‘Bad For you Baby’.  He also joined Gary’s band for a 10-date tour in Germany.


Over the years Sam has worked with Chaka Khan, Dr John, Ben E. King, Robert Plant, The Foundations, Gordon Haskell, Billy Ocean, Desmond Dekker, Eddie Floyd, Roger Chapman, Michelle Shocked, Stan Webb, Gary Moore, Mick Ralphs, Paul Jones, Imelda May, Robben Ford, Andy Fairweather Low, Chris Barber and Ottis Taylor………… to name but a few!!
Sam also runs his own bands:roots/reggae band “FOWOKAN”, the bluesy Sam Kelly’s Band and the funky Sam Kelly’s Station House:


Sam’s long career covers live gigs, festivals, drum workshops, theatre work, radio and TV sessions, both in the UK and overseas. He has been voted into Blues In Britain magazine Gallery of the Greats, as a five-times winner of the ‘UK Drummer of the Year’ award. In 2014 Sam was awarded first place in the “Drummer” category for Blues Matters Writer’s Poll and runner-up in the British Blues Awards 2016. Combining his years of experience and his reputation within the UK blues fraternity, Sam is a highly accessible, sought after drummer.