Sam Russell is no one special. He’s just one of a million dudes writing songs in-between work shifts and life stuff. His music is more-or-less Dad-rock with wacky synthesizers thrown in to spice things up.

Sam was born in Kenosha, WI, right between Milwaukee and Chicago. He’s spent the last decade in Seattle, though he still stobbornly refers to himself as a Midwesterner. His dad was a preacher for a small church who also drove full-time city bus to support Sam and siblings while his mom worked as a clerk at the local library. 
  
As a kid, and due to his parents being super-religious, Sam was only allowed to listen to horrible 80’s Christian rock and oldies radio. After winning a boombox from a neighborhood Catholic fair raffle in 4th grade, Sam began listening to oldies obsessively, playing songs like Del Shannon’s “Runaway” Barry Mann’s “Who Put the Bomp” and The Soul Survivor’s “Expressway to Your Heart” over and over. 
  
He picked up his father’s guitar (used to lead worship services at church) in 8th grade and immediately began writing his own ditties about girls at school that wouldn’t talk to him. After high school, Sam did a year of school in Santa Fe, NM before quitting and getting his real education by playing the folk clubs there as a solo performer, 
  
“I lived a whole year in Santa Fe by just playing clubs 3 or 4 nights a week by playing covers and learning more and more songs. I learned if I played a John Denver song, I’d probably get a 20 dollar tip, so I learned John Denver songs.”   
  
After his Santa Fe stretch, Sam returned to Kenosha where he started a band called The Harborrats with his best friend Sean Lambrecht. The band was mainly an excuse to get drunk but by the time Sam moved to Seattle in 2003, he had built up a repertoire of originals written both with Sean and without. 
  
Sam began gigging out in Seattle in 2005 with a new band also called The Harborrats. This version of the band started out as Americana band Creeping Time simply backing Sam up but over the years evolved to be a rotating pool of collaborators to draw upon for recordings and live shows. Sam’s main foil was multi-instrumentalist Michael Spaly until Michael moved to Boston. In Michael’s absence, the keyboards of Allison Tulloss have become the main colors of Sam's scenery, with bassist Ken Nottingham and drummer Aimee Zoe also adding splashes of dirty rainbow. 
  
Allison Tulloss also leads the group of lead singers that Sam uses on his recordings to “portray” certain characters, other lead singers helping Sam out include Michael Spaly, Kate Noson, Shelby Earl, James Apollo, Nathan Wade and Scott Andrew.
  
The regular use of these singers is one of the many connecting threads through Sam’s albums that ties them all together to be part of a larger endeavor known as The Blue Moon Bible. This isn’t a rock opera like Tommy or American Idiot but a a bunch of songs strung together that use the same names and places in the lyrics.
  
Between 2006 and 2012, Sam recorded six albums for his Blue Moon Bible, starting with The Katie Sermon, collaborating primarily with the legendary Conrad Uno {Presidents of the United States, Mudhoney, The Young Fresh Fellows} and Johnny Sangster (Hounds of the Wild Hunt, Star Anna, Cobirds Unite). Released in 2006, The Katie Sermon was a minor regional hit, gaining airplay for five of the album's 8 tracks on nationally-renowned indie-tastemaker KEXP
  
Following albums tried {and mostly failed} to build on this early buzz as Sam continued to write and record and release 5 more albums in 5 years as part of the Blue Moon Bible project, while continuing to perform around Seattle and occasionally back home in the Midwest. He has shared the stage with a laundry list of great Northwest bands, including The Maldives, The Moondoggies, and La Luz
  
Sam had spent the last 4 years writing and developing the songs for the two last albums of his project and trying to drum up the money to record them when he can. The first single from these sessions, “Born to Hurt” will be at some point this summer with future songs to be released when time, money and circumstance allow.

for bookings or to say hi to my mom, holler to theharborrats@gmail.com