Singer brings ‘Cali-soul’ to Vail |

Singer brings ‘Cali-soul’ to Vail

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily

Last fall Scotty Stoughton, the guitarist for local band Bonfire Dub, shared a California stage with Karl Denson, members of Particle and a cute blonde named Samantha Stollenwerck, who impressed him.

“She got the place hyped,” said Stoughton, who is also Samana Lounge’s manager. “Samantha is a unique and powerful entertainer that captures you with her raw talent and engaging performance.”

Stollenwerck, who released her new album “Carefree” last week, will perform a free show at Samana Lounge in Vail Wednesday night. The L.A.-based singer/songwriter describes her sound as “Cali-soul” – a blend of soulful pop, funk and rock. She came up with the term when she was living in San Francisco, she said.

“Cali-soul has this folky, fresh, West Coast vibe with acoustic guitar but with a bit of a soul tinge to it, too,” she said. “Kind of this Van Morrison, ‘Astral Weeks’ feel.”

Stollenwerck attended the University of Colorado in Boulder for two years before heading west to California. She’s performed in Vail before, including a Hot Summer Nights performance with her full band in 2005. Tonight’s performance will be an acoustic set, with just Stollenwerck and her guitar, she said. She’ll be playing quite a few songs from the new album.

Last week Stollenwerck hosted a release party in L.A. in honor of the new album.

“Just hearing the music over the loudspeakers, as background music at the party, was great,” she said. “It makes you groove. It makes you happy. I was even more proud of it.”

Stollenwerck partnered with producer Jeff Trott this past year to write and record the album. Trott is best known for his work with Sheryl Crow, having penned several of Crow’s hit songs such as “Everyday is a Winding Road” and “If it Makes You Happy.” He was also Crow’s touring guitar player for over a decade.

“Finding chemistry with a producer like I did with Jeff is amazing,” Stollenwerck said. “I love that (Sheryl Crow) has those grooves behind the music. Mine has a more acoustic, funky feel to it and (Jeff) got that, he got that immediately.

“This album is an extenstion of what I wanted to do a few years ago, i’m just working with super pros this time,” she said.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

Support Local Journalism