Best of Bardentreffen- Vote

I was included in the “Best of Bardentreffen” with some incredible world music acts like Noa from Israel, Saharan singer Aziza Brahim, and Carmen Souza from Cape Verde. If you saw the show, you can vote under the photo!


A few Photos from the Bardentreffen Festival

More photos on the Facebook Page


Riff from a Rocking Chair

In the studio in Germany/ Ins Studio in Deutschland

Hi Friends! Below you can get a taste of my amazing German:) So happy to say that I’ve gotten into the studio here in Germany, at a great space in Fürth called Streetlife Studios. Although the songs are in English, we are speaking German during the sessions which as you can imagine makes for some pretty interesting dialogue:)

The songs were all written during my Round-the-World trip in 2012 and are a combination of world sounds and instruments… from Africa to Brazil, to other countries that I had the opportunity to visit. The songs are based around the concept of ‘travel’- physically and spiritually, and to utilize musical influences from the actual regions themselves has been a real joy.

Really excited to share them with you soon!

And now, in German… :)

Hallo Freunde! Ich bin glücklich, dass ich endlich hier ins Tonstudio bin! Das studio heißt Streetlife, einen wunderbar Platz in Fürth. Wir reden in Deutsch während der Sitzungen, welche Lustig ist (die wie Sie sich vorstellen können, macht für einige ziemlich interessante Dialog. Oder, vielleicht muss ich ein Lied in Deutsch schreiben:)

Die Songs wurden während meiner “Runde- die-Welt” Reise im Jahr 2012 geschrieben und sind eine Kombination aus Welt Einflüsse und Instrumente … from Afria zu Brazil, und anderen Länder und Einflüsse. Ich freue mich auf den Austausch mit Ihnen!


Happy New Year!


Rwandan Singers from Samantha Stollenwerck on Vimeo.

Hey hey, Friends and Happy New Year!

Wow, it was a wild year in every way, and completely opposite of what I ever could have imagined. I moved to Germany, got married, and can actually speak some Deutsch, albeit horribly :) I’m also finally getting into the studio over here! Now that I know “more cowbell” in German (“mehr Kuhglocke”) it’s much easier for me to communicate with musicians and studios here. For me, learning the native language was essential to the process.

The music I’m putting together is a new endeavor, it is inspired by the experience of travel, also the beautiful, sometimes forgotten people and instruments that I heard on my Round-the-World trip from 2012.

I really appreciate everyone who has kept in touch over the past few years. I was never really cut out for rockstardom, and am so, so much happier being a student of life. But yeah, I am pretty thrilled to get into the studio and work with musicians over here in Europe. Let’s see what happens.

In the meantime, here is a very short clip of what New Years Day was like for me, watching a group of Rwandan singers and dancers perform in the Northern part of Rwanda. It’s enough time to sense the joy in these girls and boys’ dancing and singing. It’s amazing to see how this country has recovered from the unimaginable genocide in 1994, and how the people there were able to forgive. Just one of the many ways that Africa rocked my world.

till the next time!

Demos Done! Happy Holidays!

Songs finished, demos done and waayyyy too much espresso consumed :) Actually, that’s what I love about Europe. Never too much espresso! Michael and I are headed to East Africa for our honeymoon, I’m so excited to check out the people, the wildlife, and yes, the music :)

See you in 2014!
Much Love,

Throwback Thursday

A few goodies in the bin. Wishing everyone a warm December!


Above, Playing at Super Bowl, Dallas, TX


Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT

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Recording “Carefree” at Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA with this incredible team.

Plans… #2014

Congratulations! We Helped Build a School.

Congratulations to the fans & friends out there who helped build a school in Laos! From your donations, songs downloads and support, we were able to raise enough money to help finish the Phouluang Tai Pre and Primary School with the organizations Pencils of Promise. This school is in an extremely remote area and difficult to access, so the opportunity to bring education for kids here was so welcomed.

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It feels good to help. I know there is so much to focus on in our own turf, let alone the rest of the planet, but this small movement cast a huge light on a place in the world that, through my travels, saw would not be squandered. We know the profound the the impact of education, and with organizations like PoP on the ground working with the communities, the follow-through is there.

It’s the intention that you all put out and that’s what promotes change, even through a tiny little school in the outback of Laos. You changed a lot kids’ lives today. You Rock. xoSamantha

Lights Down and Unreleased 2007-2008

Among the many places I recorded and co-wrote, Virginia was one of them. I spent some quality time in the countryside outside Charlottesville writing with a great songwriter named Chris Keup. We sensibly threw gasoline on tree branch piles, tossed horseshoes too close to our heads and went for long walks ignoring the many “No Trespassing” signs along the way. When we weren’t causing trouble, we wrote songs. His studio partner Stewart Myers had an entire room stacked floor-to-ceiling of vintage keyboards and we spent hours plugging and causing, yep, more trouble.

We recorded in an old Civil War-era house on the banks of the James River, where Mennonites had tilled the fields. Rumor has it that it the original owner of the house, a famed Confederate general, committed suicide on site and his ghost sometimes hung around the sessions. I never saw his ghost, but the drums sounded amazing .

“Edge of the World” was written in Philadelphia, in a back room of ‘The Studio’ with a young engineer named John McGlinchey. This studio was legendary, having recorded D’Angelo’s Voodoo (one of my favorite albums), Erykah Badu, Mary J Blige, The Roots… it was epic. Sometimes we worked out of Questlove’s room who had an amazing vinyl collection, and wrote songs that to this day I still adore. I remember that is where I met Amos Lee the first time, and we drove out to a random party in the outskirts of Philly, and all the while I wondered whether we’d actually make it back :/ We did. Thanks, Amos.

“Summerlove” and “How to Let Go” were written in Los Angeles with another fantastic songwriter named Dave Lichens. He told me the only joke that I can actually tell without ruining (Why does Snoop Dogg need an umbrella”- For drizzle!!) and we played so much Wii Tennis during tracking that I couldn’t lift my arm for a good four days. I love these songs so very much.

“Fetish” was the first song that Jeff Trott and I ever wrote together, at his home studio in Manhattan Beach, CA. Jeff went on to produce “Carefree” and is one of my mentors and most favorite people in my life. If you ever meet him, ask him to show you his Yo Gabba Gabba dance.

We did a scorcher version of it, but thinking I might put the fear of god in people, I went with the funky version recorded by the amazing Mike Bradford, aka the Mad Genius, and we went on to write gems such as “Trouble” and “Headache” amongst solving all the world’s problems while watching the Spike Channel. I think Mike actually might have invented the ionic compound chart. More from Mike later since he needs more than one blog post.

The photo was taken in New York City by the fabulous Taylor Crothers in the loft of leather designer Jordan Betten’s Lost Art Studios (amazing). It was my first “real” shoot and as you can tell was completely against a hair stylist. I obviously had no idea what I was doing. Yet we had so much fun!

I hope you enjoy these songs as much as I enjoyed working with these masterminds.

Lights Down and Unreleased” on iTunes


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© 2014 Samantha Stollenwerck