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After traversing the country and performing as a solo act for a handful of years, Sam Doores set out to put a band together in the winter of 2010. At that time there wasn't much honky-tonk or old school R&B music being played in New Orleans; jug band, trad jazz and gypsy-folk were the going trend. However, there is no shortage of talent in New Orleans and it didn't take long for Sam to find a group of like minded individuals... the original Tumbleweeds: Dan Cutler, Tony Fricky, and Matt Bell.
Right away, the Tumbleweeds were a hit at the local bars and clubs, and they even drove up to play in Canada at the Hillside festival that summer. The toured most of that summer through Canada and the North East and then toured the whole country that fall with one of New Orleans' favorite young bands "Hurray for the Riff Raff".
Right around this same time Sam Doores ran into an old friend of his Riley Downing who he had met years earlier at the Woody Guthrie festival in Okemah Oklahoma. Sam and Riley traded songs all night and Sam was blown away by Riley's voice and material. That night he asked Riley if he'd join the band and Riley hopped right on the wagon.
With the addition of Riley Downing they had more original material work with and with Riley's rich baritone they could now pull of a rousing three part harmony. Inspired by this new collaboration they toured most of that year with Hurray for the Riff-Raff and even went to Nashville a couple times to record at their friend Andrija Tokic's (who recorded the Alabama Shakes) home studio.
Now, after having toured and recorded together for a little over a year, they have finished their debut Album: "Holy Cross Blues", which features both Sam Doores & Riley Downing's original material backed by the Tumbleweeds. They just released it at their New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival performance and it should be available online shortly.
To Clear up any confusion in regards to the band name... this band started as Sam Doores and the Tumbleweeds before Riley joined up - hence the web sights and videos that are listed as such. However, when Riley Downing performs with them they prefer to be listed as a collaboration... Sam Doores, Riley Downing & the Tumbleweeds. The album is listed this way as well. Sam and Riley continue to perform together as well as pursue their own projects, so in an effort to make things as clear as possible, when Sam & Riley perform together it will be announced as such, and if it is just one or the other, it will likewise be announced as a separate entity.