Interview With Texan Sammy Sadler
Sadler Releases New Single, 'That Ole Gravel Road'
Artist: Sammy Sadler
Title: Hard on the Heart
Genre: Texas Country
Label: Self Released
I recently spoke with Nashville recording artist Sammy Sadler. Memphis-born, Texas-raised Sammy Sadler is, at first glance, a study in contradictions. However, if you look a little closer, you'll see a man of single-minded purpose. Since his high-school decision to forego a promising baseball career for an uncertain career in entertainment, Sammy has relentlessly pursued his dream of making country music. Although it has taken the back burner on more than one occasion, the dream is now Sadler's primary focus. With two chart singles, a new album, a radio station tour under his belt and an upcoming tour, it's safe to say that Sammy Sadler is back for good.
Sammy's current single, "That Ole Gravel Road," is an uptempo smash that is garnering heavy spins throughout Texas. Sadler has had reason to smile lately himself: his debut CD, Hard On Heart, gave the soulful singer two hits with "I Know A Place" and "Hard On A Heart," and won him fans the world over. He has toured throughout the summer, concentrating his efforts in Texas and Oklahoma; filling music clubs, dance halls and honky-tonks across the two states. An energetic live performer, he is currently entertaining offers for a 2005 Euro tour.
Produced by Chet Hinesley (Doug Stone, Tony Joe White), Hard On Heart gives Sammy the room he needs to prove that he is just as comfortable with a country rocker as he is with a traditional country ballad. There is a joyous feel to the realizations found in "That Ole Gravel Road" and a quiet contemplation revealed in the CD's title cut. Sadler selected the songs himself and poured his heart and soul into every one of them.
This CD brings Sadler full circle. The salt-of-the-earth, blue-eyed blonde has finally regained some of what was lost in a life-changing event that occurred in the Spring of 1989 when a stranger wearing a ski mask shot Sadler and mortally wounded one of his best friends, Kevin Hughes. Grievously injured, Sammy spent months recovering from his wounds. A few months after the incident, he moved back to Texas and when he was able, he went to work for his dad.
By 1991, Sadler left the family construction business and formed a band called Sammy Sadler and Overdrive that would tour the U.S. and Canada for the next five years. Sadler shared the bill with top country acts - Joe Diffie, Billy Dean, Toby Keith, Steve Wariner, Willie Nelson and The Gatlin Brothers. He appeared on Crook & Chase and Dan Miller & Co., as well as Country Music Television [CMT] and Entertainment Tonight.
Sadler was tapped as a spokesperson for the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) in 1992, an affiliation that he has recently renewed. In September 2003, 14 years after that fateful night on Music Row, Richard D'Antonio was convicted of murder and Sadler was finally able to close a painful chapter in his life. Today, Sammy is back - with recent chart singles, a new band, new material, and a renewed determination to succeed.
This talented Texan has been featured in over 60 national, international and Texas publications, including Country Weekly; Country Music Today; Billboard; Best of Texas; Houston Hot Country; Dallas Morning News and more. Sammy's soulful voice and distinctive interpretations have won him fans the world over. "I Know A Place" and "Hard On A Heart," two singles from his latest CD, Hard On Heart, were both top 15 records on the Texas Music Chart.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Hi Sammy. It's great to talk with you. Sounds like it's an exciting time for you with your new single "That Ole Gravel Road" recently being released from your CD, Hard On Heart.
Sammy Sadler Yes, we got the album out and a few singles off of that and it's done good for us. The two singles, "Hard on a Heart" and "I Know a Place," reached # 15 on the Texas Music Charts and we shipped our brand new single, "That Ole Gravel Road," to radio November 1st, 2004. It's starting to get legs, and hopefully here in the next week or two we'll have that song charted out here.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Who wrote your new single, "That Ole Gravel Road," and how did you find it?
Sammy Sadler "That Ole Gravel Road" is a Roger Murrah and Billy Lawson song. They've written so many hits. We just came across that song a few years ago and luckily it's a single for us. It's our brand new record and we're just excited to have that song now and to have a Roger Murrah/Billy Lawson song.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] As far as the three singles that you released - what inspired you to pick those songs?
Sammy Sadler A lot of the songs that are on this album are songs that have been pitched to me years back when I had my record deal on Evergreen Records in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s. A lot of the writers on this album are good friends of mine. I've stayed in contact with those guys over the years. I've been lucky enough to hold onto them and nobody else has cut those songs, and we're just glad to have them on this album. It's been a good album for me - my first album back since the shooting that happened to us back in '89. We're just excited to be back in country music. We're looking forward to cutting the next album.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Well, we're glad you're back. When are you thinking about starting on the next CD?
Sammy Sadler That's probably going to be sometime during the first part of next year - probably around February - that's what we're shooting for. Sometimes things change, but I would imagine it's going to be somewhere around February.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] I read you're very involved with the NOVA program.
Sammy Sadler Yes, NOVA had reinstated me as their National Spokesperson. We went to Sacramento this year and did the national convention out there. I'm slated to do the 2005 convention in Atlanta this year and we're happy to be back and associated with those guys. (Check out www.sammysadler.com for updated information on that).
[Cindy Beth Gordon] You've been doing a lot of touring? What's that been like?
Sammy Sadler We were on the road all summer long touring Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. We've been out touring in support of this album and just trying to get the people to know bout it. We've had great fan support out here and are building a good fan base. We just love being back in the business. We've been absent from it for 14 years and we're just happy to be back in it. We've been out touring all Summer long - it's good to be back out with the fans and seeing the people.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] You live in Bonham, Texas?
Sammy Sadler Yes, it's about 65 miles northeast of Dallas.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] And do you have a wife and kids?
Sammy Sadler No, I'm single - if there's any good single gals out there, tell them to call me (laughs) I'm looking!
[Cindy Beth Gordon] So any New Years Resolutions this year?
Sammy Sadler Oh man. New Years Eve Resolutions - I need to stop eating that truck stop food!
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Anything else you wanted to add that we didn't cover?
Sammy Sadler We did do the A&E Cold Case files - that ran a couple of weeks ago and due to the shooting, since then we've been contacted and told we're going to be shooting a Dateline NBC with Stone Phillips.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] When is that?
Sammy Sadler That is supposed to happen either before the end of the year or right after the 1st of the year.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] I can imagine what an incredible experience that whole thing has been.
Sammy Sadler You know, it was such a tragic thing that happened to a friend of mine and for me to live through something like that, only God knows why one lives and one dies. We're thankful for our homes and our families and that they finally found peace and closure to this.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Any holiday wishes for our readers?
Sammy Sadler Yes - Have a safe and happy holiday, make your New years resolutions and try to stick to them and have a good 2005!
Sammy's single, "That Ole Gravel Road," is NOW playing on the radio!
Request at your local station!
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