Exposé Online banner

RIP Sam Andrew

Sam Andrew, guitarist and founding member of Big Brother and The Holding Company, passed away on February 12th, at the age of 73. His death stemmed from complications related to a heart attack ten weeks earlier that left him in critical condition.

by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-02-17

As the son of a military father, Andrew moved a great deal as a child. Shortly after he graduated from high school, his father was transferred to Hamilton Air Force Base in northern California. It was during this period that he started attending classes at the University of San Francisco, becoming involved with the San Francisco folk music scene of the early 1960s. However it was not until he returned from a two-year stay in Paris that he met Peter Albin at 1090 Page Street. As Big Brother and the Holding Company came together, Andrew brought many songs into the band. He has been a prolific songwriter all of his life, penning his first tune at the age of six. Of his early compositions, "Call on Me" and "Combination of the Two" have been two of Big Brother’s most enduring classic tracks. Until up until his final illness in early 2015 Andrew continued in his original role as the musical director of the band. Janis Joplin was recruited by band manager Chet Helms to join Big Brother as lead singer on June 4, 1966. The band released their first album on Mainstream in 1967, and their second Cheap Thrills on Columbia Records the following year. At the end of 1968, Andrew and Joplin left Big Brother to form the Kozmic Blues Band. After about nine months and one album, I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, Andrew returned to Big Brother.

Filed under:

Related artist(s): Big Brother & the Holding Company

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cast - Al-Bandaluz – By this time, many readers will know what to expect from Mexico's Cast: complex, keyboard-heavy neo-progressive with lots of odd meters. They've stuck to that for what seems like twenty or...  (2003) » Read more

Mörglbl - Grötesk – Simply put, Mörglbl is an adept French fusion guitar, bass and drums trio. Their debut on the American Free Electric Sound label is a bit surprising since there don’t appear to be many unique...  (2009) » Read more

Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites - Friesengeist, Part 1 – As soon as I submerge the opening of the first track “Ballade” of Part 1 I’m hooked. It’s this wistful folk mood of accordion, piano, and vocal melody which touches a nerve...  (2006) » Read more

Steve Howe - Homebrew 2 – Yes guitarist Steve Howe continues to group together fully developed solo tracks used in different contexts in the second in his homebrewed series. It’s nearly impossible to fault Howe for being...  (2000) » Read more

Soft Machine Legacy - Soft Machine Legacy – Elton Dean’s last recording with these long-time associates results in a tour de force of elegant power and inspired interplay. Across ten evenly paced songs Dean together with musical friend...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues