Sam started playing mandolin at the age of 11, as a teenager, he took first place three times in the National Oldtime Fiddler’s Contest. The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has named him Mandolin Player of the Year four times, and, the AMA (Americana Music Association) has presented Sam with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 1971 when Sam was 19, New Grass Revival formed from the ashes of Bluegrass Alliance. With a nod to tradition, New Grass took a wild turn into in a fresh patch – rowdy and raising the bar – weaving genres into improv reggae, soul (ck John Cowan in comments – voice that’ll make you see the god/goddess) jazz, (ck Bela’s banjo brilliance here) and blues into a gumbo of bluegrass boogie.
Sam is packing a 4 planet Aries stellium punch of head ’em up an move ’em out. Sun (spirit self) conjunct Jupiter (philosophy of expansion) – Mercury Rx (communications tamed inwardly, streamlined – then expressed outwardly) conjunct Venus (art and balance).
Jupiter trine Pluto Rx (metamorph) in willful Leo (needs fun, creativity benders) is expressive power with a bent towards c’mon let’s GO. Fire planets or where fire lands in your chart is where you cheerlead others to excel, to REACH HIGHER.
Aries Mercury Rx (conjunct artistic Venus) trine Pluto Rx in Leo is a full-tilt creative vibe that blooms communications spectacularly, sporadically…fully nailing the outbound vibe consistently later in life, as spirit time calls it. Cardinals are outgoing – they ARE what is going on, Sam fits this bill and then some with at least 6+ planets (without exact birth deets) in Cardinal signs.
Sam has Mars Rx, which only happens around every two years and two months. Mars is the personal energy that drives the spirit expression forward and outward – while in retrograde (seemingly re-tracing steps from the vantage point of earth) energy is gunning on idle, introverted, perfecting itself before expression outwardly.
This is in addition to Sam’s other 4 retrogrades: Mercury, thought/perception; Saturn, work/restriction; Neptune, spiritual/healing/music; Pluto, research/transmutation.
All point to a life of studied practice, honing the craft of transformative communicative arts – a Life of Focused, Channeled Expression.
Attention must be paid to houses Scorpio and Leo re: energy flow or lack thereof. (Mars Rx square Pluto Rx) Same hold true of Mercury Rx in Aries and Uranus in Cancer. These signs/planets are stress points that call for understanding – they are fixed, so also calling for a bit of compromise and much bending of personal willpower.
(See dropdown menu for more on each)
Focus on compromise may SEEM irrelevant, but it is far from it – a life centered around relationships and peace talks with others while also remaining true to self brings the most satisfying growth. Particularly artistic/competitive agreements centered around family and / or the public spectrum.
Cancer Uranus (unusual family ties) as focal in an Aries/Libra T- Square is La Familia, the path of balance between self, sharing, creative expression in relationships.
The heart (Sun, exalted in Aries stellium) sees possibilities, perceptions, practicalities (Aries Mercury) and promise (Jupiter) – Sun (rules Leo Pluto), expect intense growth regarding all of these. Outward bound action may be intensely focused and honed to a razors edge by midlife via Mars Rx.
Also keep in mind everything outgoing in (Mars – ruled Aries) has Jupiter (good fortune and expansion) conjunct Sun [both benefics] with Sun exalted. These are aspects of a kind man, who is well-loved with many friends and allies (Venus).
Energy outgoing (Mars Rx) is a matter of deep Scorpio focus – researching personal power, nurturing growth in unusual ways (trine Uranus), from a perspective of depth, quiet, and revolutionary power born from still waters. Uranus in Cancer feels the love of safety mixed with freedom to rebel and hang loose at home – yet the urge (T-square) to get out there in public, compete & meet and greet (Aries opp Libra axis) also calls.
Mars Rx trine Uranus in Cancer loves having friends over for home games – Mars Rx square Pluto Rx in Leo craves the metamorphosis of going for it at away games.
I love to think Jupiter is the ruling planet philosophy of festival. Mercury rules names – Sam has Mercury Rx trine Moon (loose or tight depends on exacts) in Sagittarius – home away from home – Telluride. Jupiter rules Sag, is conjunct Sun (fame, spirit) in trine to Pluto Rx (transform via creativity) in Leo, which rules Colorado.
Aka: present and picking at 39 out of 40 bluegrass festivals in the San Juans – Sam has the tested & approved, well-worn and much deserved moniker, King of Telluride.
Sam forever changed my perceptions – his Libra Neptune (string instruments) conjuncts my Mercury; his Aries Mercury conjuncts my Saturn; plus all the fire popping around in trine between us – fun ass firecrackers !
He knocked my socks into S p a c e first time I heard him play, I had a supernova Neptune (music/dance) transit quite a few years back with Sam at the helm.
One of my TBF top 5 – and now that is saying somethin’.
Peace Love & Mercurious Alchemy !