“Sometimes you hear a voice that sounds so familiar that you’re immediately taken back to that favorite radio DJ from Saturday morning when you were a little kid. Sometimes you hear a voice that’s so familiar that you’re immediately taken back to that favorite educator, who was such a good teacher that you never actually realized you were learning from them. And sometimes you hear a voice that’s so familiar that you’re immediately taken back through the tunnel of nostalgia to your childhood – to those other people in your family that told you stories – and you feel so comfortable. And every now and then, we hear a voice that combines all of those together into one voice; that, when you’re extra lucky, adds a little music into it. Well, all of those things come through in the voice of a storyteller from Utah...Sam Payne.” --Storyteller Adam Booth
"Has taken me to a whole new level of understanding about the beauty, the joy, the power, and the fun of storytelling."
--KUED producer Ken Verdoia
"The Gift of the Tongue. You've got it, my friend. In spades. Astonishing."
--Storyteller Clare Murphy
"Fill-the-room stage presence. Totally iPod-worthy."
--Storyteller Kim Weitkamp
"Every single teller that I spent an hour with today was incredible ... but by far, the most impactful was Sam Payne. There wasn't a dry eye in the place, and even thinking back on it is causing me to tear up a bit. Thank you Sam for your incredible story today!"
"Sam Payne was absolutely one of my favorites from the 2019 National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, TN. I didn't quite know what to make of him when he got on stage with his guitar. But when he opened his mouth and began to sing.....OOOOH LAWD! That man got some SOUL! As a storyteller myself, I really appreciated how he integrated the music into his 'telling. It was seamless, thoughtful, and engaging."
--Gregory Pickett, winner, 2019 Twin Cities Moth Grand Slam Champion
"Original, over-the-top creative, genius. Let's be honest, genius. Totally different league from anyone around that I've seen as far as artistry."
--Entertainer Jason Hewlett
"The best voice at the festival."
--Utah Arts Festival
“Let's talk about storytelling: Sam Payne is a master at it.”
--Carma Wadley, Deseret News
"Jonathan WInters. With a guitar. Welcome to the 22nd century!"
--Matthew Clark, The National Storytelling Festival
"Giddy. Giddy is the first word I can think of to describe the way I felt...The intelligent lyrics of each song seemed to pick up where the narration left off so that the story felt seamless, witty and downright entertaining."
--Hollie Reina, St. George News
"Payne, known for his jazzed folk tunes and flair for good stories, is a 'must see' show full of entertainment that's just right for audiences across the board."
--Rich Panessa, Southern Utah Songwriters Association
“Hence, as a public service to anyone who enjoys thoughtful, energertic, jazz-inflected folk -- and even to people who think "jazz-inflected folk" sounds iffy, but who enjoy a good guitar sound and strong vocals -- I am opening the bag, and letting out the cat: Sam Payne rocks.”
--Cody Clark, The Daily Herald
"He's one of the best in his field … the consummate performer. The connection he makes with people onstage or in person is a rare thing that many artists don't have the ability to do."
--Earl Madsen, Sounds of Zion
“The songwriting is fun, sublime, and masterful. The lyrics are poetic and profound. There are life lessons hidden in his songs, and when found they are more powerful than just stating the truth. More true than truth. Highly, highly recommended.”
--Tim Jones, Deseretbook.com
"Payne delivers his riveting folktales with passion, emotionally stirring hooks, and an almost supernatural ability to tell a story." --Kevin Jones, "The Independent" magazine
"Payne is one of those few musicians who can successfully combine both songwriting and stage performing. He can write poignant and meaningful lyrics, combine them with a melodic hook, and perform them in a voice that makes you want to close your eyes and drift away."
“Sam Payne – totally crushing it. Incredible. Amazing work,” says storyteller Antonio Sacre of Sam Payne’s live performance. Sam's fill-the-room stage presence, craftsmanship, and his soaring tenor voice have established him as a favorite with audiences and critics alike. He serves as the Weber State University Storytelling Fellow, and has brought his stories and songs to halls in Canada, Bulgaria, Tokyo, and from coast to coast in the United States, including the Will Rogers Auditorium in Dallas, Texas and the Kennedy Center in the nation's capitol. Sam has been featured at festivals large and small, including the National Storytelling Festival and the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival. He's shared stages with rock legends Foreigner and Toto, and with pop superstars Air Supply and Marie Osmond. Sam has authored publications for children, with a regular readership of more than a million elementary school students. He co-directed the "Soundcheck Series," an artist development program for independent songwriters, and currently hosts "The Apple Seed: Tellers and Stories," a national radio show on the art of storytelling, broadcasting daily on BYU Radio.