Tuning In with Sam Cregger

Posted on May 1, 2014 by


SamCregger Sam Cregger is a singer-songwriter who believes less is more when it comes to music. “I used to write really long and complicated songs,” he says, but now, he starts a song by strumming around on the guitar to find a progression he likes, then improvises words and melodies until the parts fit nicely together.

The process, he says, can take a few minutes, a few weeks, even months. Every song is different.

An Americana/country western musician, Cregger plays his tunes at open mic nights at The Local on Mondays. There, he meets up with friends and they share stories from shows, ask advice, and step up to the mic to perform their songs and have fun. “I really enjoy the community of musicians [here in town],” says Cregger.

He also enjoys being part of the Charlottesville area farming community. He’s participated in four growing seasons at Bellair Farm CSA, and the job feeds him well as he pursues music. “I don’t know if [farming] is what I would be doing [if I weren’t pursuing music]. Maybe a park ranger? I’ve always wanted to be a marine biologist tagging great white sharks off of South Africa.” But for now, Cregger is inland, growing food and making music here in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

PrintCregger’s playlist is a mix of songs that are new to him and songs he’s rediscovered. “I’m a really big fan of this ‘new’ Johnny Cash song, ‘She Used To Love Me A Lot,’” he says. It has a great build to a great chorus. And it’s classic Cash, telling a story that’s truly honest and [he’s] not afraid to examine himself.

“Lucinda Williams’ ‘Where Is My Love?’ gets me every time,” he says. ‘When she gets out of the minor chords and into the more lively sections of the song, I don’t know how to describe it– it’s one of those tension-releasing moments in music. That’s one of my favorite parts about music, when the music ‘breaks free.’”


Most Monday nights, Sam Cregger performs at the open mic at The Local in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlottesville. He’s often working out new material. His new album is titled “Tell Me Something Different.”

Posted in: music, Tuning in