Founded by Blair Alexander and Samantha Granrath. Green Denim is a Chicago based Americana / Blues / Rock & Roll band with a pop-punk / glam rock edge. Alexander began writing music in Oceanside, CA in 2010. Inspired by the Cramps, New York Dolls, and spaghetti westerns, his songs appealed to Rock & Roll and Punk Rock fans. In 2012, after drumming for the Sex Girls and playing bass with the Rich White Males, Alexander moved to Chicago with over 40 original songs!
Playing in Chicago, Alexander was introduced to Samantha Granrath who shared Alexander’s love of music and art. Alexander needed a beat, and so Granrath sat in on the drum kit. Soon there was no doubt that Granrath would be Alexander’s professional drummer. Writing songs together, their voices complimented each other, making a great collaboration.
Alexander and Granrath set a goal of performing on the Chicago based Mancow Show. A chance meeting enabled Alexander to give his music to Mancow’s co-host, Chip Z’Nuff (Enuff Z’Nuff). After their meeting, Alexander began working with the Mancow Show; on his first day, he was asked to play. Playing an inspired version of Rollin to the City, Chip Z’Nuff became interested in producing Alexander’s music.
In the summer of 2014, the band began recording at the Chip Z’Nuff Studio in Blue Island, Illinois. The sessions caught the attention of Kate Catalina (Showgirl of Rock) and her friend Jesse Camp (MTV). Alexander loved the sleazy innocence of Jesse’s original songs and he joined Granrath and Alexander in writing songs for a new album. Even though the band had been together less than a year, they earned a spot at the famous Metro in Chicago. Along with Alexander and Granrath, the band now included Johnnie Sapsford on bass, Kate Catalina on back-up vocals, and Jesse Camp on lead vocals and guitar. The band is now touring the Midwest supporting the newly released CD Green Denim.
For Christmas, at the age of 13, Blair asked for a base guitar… he was not sure he could play it, but once he had the base in hand, he made playing it look easy. That’s when Blair began seriously playing music. At age 13, Blair was way into punk rock and at 18 he moved to San Diego where he could play music full time. Alexander lived in San Diego for about 7 years. Those were wild years, but playing in 3 bands at one time, he picked up the rhythm and lead guitar and became a drummer. During his years in San Diego, Blair was writing songs and when he moved back to Illinois he had a stockpile of over 40 original songs! Playing around Chicago as a solo act (Bad Blair Alexander), Blair could see that the music he hadwritten appealed to both an old man and a kid with a Mohawk. By this time, Alexander was heavily influenced by Carl Perkins, David Bowie, Elvis, New York Dolls, and vintage rockabilly … music with an attitude!
Alexander was playing at the Lizard Lick lounge in Chicago and there he met Samantha Granrath (Sam). Sam liked Blair’s music and, after dating for a while, they began singing together. Alexander wanted a drum beat for his solo act and asked Sam to give drumming a try… she was a natural and had no trouble keeping a beat. After two weeks of practice they began playing open mic nights in the Chicago area.
Blair and Sam were big fans of the Mancow Muller Show (Channel 50 in Chicago). Alexander set a goal of playing his music on the Mancow show. Blair kept trying to make a connection with the show, and eventually one of the people from the show reached out to him. On his first day as an unpaid intern for the show, he was asked to play! Alexander said “… this turned out to be the biggest break of my music career”! Blair played his song “Rollin’ to the City” on the Mancow show; they loved the song and even danced around the studio as Blair played. Following this debut, Alexander became a regular in the green room and passed the time talking with Chip Z’ Nuff (Mancow’s full time co-host). These talks resulted in Chip producing this Green Denim album, which was recorded at Chip Z’Nuff Studios in Blue Island, Illinois.
When the Mancow show came to an end, Alexander added a bass player, which gave Green Denim a more complete sound. Alexander said “Originally we went by the name ‘Green Venom’, but a fan suggested we call the band ‘Green Denim’ and the name just stuck”.
Halfway through a recording session Kate Catalina (Showgirl of Rock) brought Jesse Camp (MTV) to the studio. Blair had never met Jesse, but they formed an instant friendship. The collaboration resulted in Jesse writing and performing 4 of the 15 songs on the Green Denim album. Sam and Blair will always consider Jesse to be a member of the band… and he always considered himself a member of Green Denim.
Biography: Samantha Granrath
Known as “Sayre,” Chicago native Samantha Granrath is a professional on-screen film actress and exceptional persona of the stage. With a comprehensive education in theatrical production obtained from critically acclaimed acting academy Green Room Studio, Samantha is also a percussionist, songwriter, and skilled vocalist.
As a sketch comedy writer for Los Angeles-based production company Rhymes With Runt, Samantha there founded her fervor for script-writing and dialogue construction, and ultimately gained recognition within a prestigious community of accomplished writers of the film industry.
While her focus for many years was on the literary and expressionistic aspect of theater and commercial acting, Samantha’s path in entertainment was quickly redirected toward her earliest concentration on music. After a year on the road as a street team director for alternative rock groups such as FUN., Kings Of Leon, and The Dresden Dolls, she quickly realized her desire to connect to people through music.
Considered a founding member of Green Denim, today Samantha fiercely upholds her always alluring stage presence as the band’s iron backbone and singer. Giving the term “girl power” a new meaning with her trademark gypsy fashion and undying devotion to the craft at hand, she is a ruthless force to be reckoned with as a developing artist.
Jesse Camp was the winner of the first Wanna Be a VJ contest on MTV beating over 5000 other contestants for a VJ job on the network. During his year and a half on MTV, Camp was a cohost of music video show Total Request Live (TRL), and also hosted the summer series Lunch With Jesse as well as MTV Rocks Off. Although the original contest rules were to let the winner be a VJ for a period of two weeks, Camp became so popular on the channel that the network immediately extended his contract for a full year. Jesse was voted one of VH1’s Twenty Greatest MTV Moments in 2010.
For over a year, Jesse hosted the contemporary rock program “MTV Rocks Off” interviewing artists such as Joey Ramone, Henry Rollins, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Sugar Ray, Garbage, Peter Steele, Silverchair and Metallica.
Following his departure from TRL, Camp parlayed his MTV fame into a rock career with his 1999 debut album Jesse & the 8th Street Kidz on the Hollywood Records label. The album was produced by Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Kid Rock) and Julian Raymond (Cheap Trick, Glen Campbell), and specialized in the 1980s style glam metal. Guest stars on the album included Stevie Nicks duetting with Camp on ballad My Little Saviour, Rick Nielsen, Steve Hunter and Greg Bisonette. Camp cowrote the album with Alex Kane (Life, Sex and Death, Antiproduct), Bam Bam and Jo Almeida (Dogs D’Amour) and Share Pedersen (Vixen, Bubble). A video for the first single See You Around included cameos from Reverend Run and Marky Ramone. Jesse Camp has acted in several films including Crossroads with Britney Spears and a starring role in Skinwalker (2004).
Jesse Camp also has joined Chicago based band Green Denim playing guitar/vocals and continues recording and writing music with Green Denim. In 2015 Green Denim has just released their debut album produced by Chip Z’ Nuff of Enuff Z’ Nuff and features 4 new songs written by Jesse Camp. Camp plans to tour with Green Denim and release a music video.
Kate Catalina is a professional entertainer hailing from the east coast with an extensive background in classical dance, musical composition, and literature.
Having graduated from Oxford University in 2013 with a degree in Creative Writing, Kate leaves behind her a rich trail of literary expertise as a rock journalist.
At 17, Almost Famous writer/director Cameron Crowe personally encouraged her to join forces with Rolling Stone music editor Jason Fine in order to better mold her path toward literary success. Now known as the “Showgirl Of Rock,” Kate is a feature journalist for popular online music publication Rock My World and travels nationally for appearance gigs at various rock festivals. Considered the modern day Pamela Des Barres (author of I’m With The Band), Kate is also a contracted showgirl in Las Vegas where she has shared the stage as a dancer with the likes of Rob Zombie, Steel Panther, and more.
As a pianist and singer/songwriter, Kate’s 2011 debut EP Boneyard Gypsy was released. Produced by Bruce Bennet and featuring violinist Paul Mercer, Boneyard Gypsy highlights Kate’s classical influence of music, poetic use of words, and sultry vocal sound.
Kate currently lives in Chicago, IL where she maintains a focus on journalism and music, as well as balancing a tour schedule where she works on the road as a merchandise sales manager with a number of popular rock groups.