THE HISTORY OF ELECTROCANA
Back to the Future:....Marty McFly travels back in time to the 1950’s and plays a song that’s “an oldie where I come from” and that “your kids are gonna love.” But imagine if instead of busting out “Johnny B. Goode” for all the kids to hear, he’d brought a keytar back in time with him and played “Power of Love” instead.
Conjuring what might have been. Sam Russell & his band The Harborrats fuse the two eras of “Back to the Future” by combining 50’s rock n’ roll with 80’s synth-pop, throwing in touches of folk and soul along the way to make for “that new sound you’re looking for” a.k.a Electrocana!
Sam was born the Son of a Preacher Man, albeit one that drove bus and busted ass to support the family. As a kid, Sam was only allowed to listen to the sacred sounds of oldies radio and the bad drum-machine-and-string-pads sound of Christian Rock. In his head, a new sonic cocktail was conceived and a long road to reach this golden balance of shimmering keys, earth-shaking backbeat and dirty guitar was taken.
Forming The Harborrats with his best friend Sean Lambrecht in Kenosha, WI circa 2001, Sam kept the name when relocating to Seattle in 2005 and forming a new version of the band, keeping in the name in honor of the rock n’ roll-as-religion foundation him and his buddy started the band upon. This new version of the band had players coming and going from show to show and recording to recording, with the most consistent musical thread being the great Michael Spaly, proprietor of the electric fiddle and any other instrument you can name and Kate Noson as co-lead vocals.
With this shifting line-up, Sam recorded six albums between 2006 and 2012, all part of larger project known as The Blue Moon Bible in which the albums would be linked by recurring themes and characters as vocally portrayed by fellow singers in the Seattle music community, including Michael, Kate, Nathan Wade, Scott Andrew, James Apollo, Shelby Earl and Allison Tulloss.
These albums, most notably 2006’s The Katie Sermon and 2012’s The Water Balloon, were rapturously received by local radio, most notably listener-support station and indie-tastemaker KEXP.
Sam formed the most recent and longest-running version of The Harborrats with longtime Harborrat bassist Ken Nottingham, drummer Aimee Zoe and Allison stepping up as keyboardist to help achieve the ideal “synth-wop” combination of oldies and 80’s influences. Over the last two years, the band has strived to achieve a unique and ass-kicking sound that comes off as both very familiar and as something never heard before
Following their 2015 release Live at Columbia City Theater EP, Sam and band will be releasing their first single in February 2016 to be followed by a full-album release. In the meantime, they’ll be playing out throughout the Pacific Northwest and showering the citizens with “that new sound.”