Sam Russell is a Seattle-based rock n' roll singer who who writes and performs in various 1950's and 60's-based styles of music such as garage-rock, soul music, rockabilly, doo-wop and folk helped along with glazes of 80's synth-pop and 00's indie-rock.

Sam was born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin as the son of a small-church minister. Growing up in a Christian household, he was only allowed to listen to oldies radio. Thus, his tastes were shaped at an early age by such wide-ranging sounds as Buddy Holly, Sam Cooke, Phil Spector, Roy Orbison, The Beatles, Del Shannon, ? & The Mysterians, among many, many others. His tastes later expanded to include classic country (George Jones, Charlie Rich, Johnny Cash), Southern-soul music (Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, James Carr), singer/songwriters with carefully crafted words such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello and Tom Waits and modern indie-bands like Wilco, The Magnetic Fields, and Neutral Milk Hotel.

Sam has spent the last 9 years in Seattle, WA at work on The Blue Moon Bible, an 8-album rock n' roll adaptation of the Greek epic poem The Odyssey by Homer, with heavy guidance from James Joyce’s Ulysses (itself a loose adaptation of The Odyssey). The idea behind The Blue Moon Bible is to replicate Sam’s experience with oldies radio as a child by having a group of songs that can be played in order or set on shuffle to have a diverse blend of different styles and genres, as a backdrop for Sam telling a larger story throughout the songs.

Six of eight albums have been released of The Blue Moon Bible, starting with 2006’s The Katie Sermon through 2012’s The Year of the Cow with 8 songs each containing overlapping references to recurring people, various incidents and locales. Sam employs eight other singers portray other characters in his rock opera, including Seattle-based singer/songwriters Allison Tulloss (of Screens), Kate Noson, James Apollo, Nathan Wade, Scott Andrew and Shelby Earl.  To find out more about the epic, ambitious and crazy The Blue Moon Bible project, go here.

Sam is backed in his live shows by The Teen Soul Explosion, made up of various members of  his larger music collective The Harborrats including Allison Tulloss on keyboardss/vocals, Ken Nottingham on bass and Aimee Zoe on drums. These full-band shows are take-no-prisoners, everyone-left-on-the-floor-exhausted extravaganzas and have had Sam compared to The White Stripes, and James Brown while his intimate, stripped-down solo shows have wrought comparisons to Neil Young, Ryan Adams and Mark Kozelek.. All the The Blue Moon Bible albums have received local airplay in Seattle from 107.7 The End and 90.3 KEXP with 2006's The Katie Sermon and 2012's The Water Balloon added to heavy rotation on KEXP, which led to an in-studio performance by the band.

Sam recently released Selections From The Blue Moon Bible, which compiles tracks from the first six albums of his project to relate the story thus far. He will be releasing the final two volumes of the project over the course of 2015.  His latest release is a contribution to the quarterly Ball of Wax compilation with a song called "The Arena."
 
theharborrats@gmail.com