Ah yes, the dreaded proverbial bio. I don’t mind reading others but I sure balk at writing my own. I entertained the idea of having someone else write it for me, but then they would just be asking me questions about myself and writing down what I told them any way.
So that being said, here’s goes my shameless self promotion.
Obviously by now you know my name is Sam Russell, I’m a singer/songwriter presently living in Nashville. Born in Fort Worth Texas to a military family, (so yes you guessed it), we moved a lot. Eventually landed in Tahoe where I went to high school and got my first real six string (oh, my bad, that was Bryan Adams, sorry). To continu. I cut my musical teeth playing clubs around Tahoe and all up and down the west coast, doing singles, duo and every other band configuration you can think of. Started out as a bass player in a rock trio, I wanted to be the guitar player but the other guy was way better than I was on the guitar. Which is not saying much by today’s standards but at the time, well you know.
Heavily influenced by Neil Young, Van Morrison, Taj Mahal and the likes there of but was also infected by the rhythms of Tower of Power, The Meters, Little Feat and the likes of Robert Palmer.
Moved to LA in the eighties and did a ten-year stint there, doing a lot more of the same. But as one might guess the musicianship of the players I got to play with was raised substantially. Was pretty prolific as a songwriter but found it very difficult to secure any meetings with publishers and or record companies. There were rumors about how accessible Nashville was and how a lot of the best songwriters were either already living there or were moving there. So I packed a bag and all of my live gear and moved to Nashville. Ouch, did I have a lot to learn about songwriting AND for the first time in my musical career I couldn’t almost immediately make a living playing clubs. So I got a job tending bar at the Bluebird and started doing demos out of my house. Ah, the things I got to witness and absorb at the Bluebird, songwriting 101 plus the joy of playing there often to an audience that was solely there to listen. Had a standing round with some very talented writers, we booked as Studs On A Budget, what a treat. But I digress, back to the task at hand. I was fortunate enough to land a publishing deal with Warner Chapel, again another crash course, only this time in recording demos Nashville style and learning how the industry works, (or doesn’t work for that matter). When my deal dried up I took a much needed and I thought well deserved musical sabbatical and let the dust settle for a while. But then music came storming back, (with vengeance I might add) and now I write more than every and love it more than ever, and for the first time since playing in the garage with my friend from up the street, I have no musical agenda except for what is inspiring me and the joy of sharing it with an audience. And man there’s a freedom in that. So now I’m back to recording songs, playing clubs (mostly listening rooms) and doing house concerts.
That’s all well and good you might be thinking, but what kind of music does this guy play. Labeling your music is not the easiest thing in the world to do, but I’ll take a shot. I lean towards groove driven, rootsy Americana (whatever that is these days) with a little country, blues and delta swamp sprinkled in on the side, (adds to the flavor you know). All tempered with a bit of light hearted down home cynicism, just to keep it honest. So there you have it, hope I haven’t rambled on too much or been too shameless in my shameless promotion. Thanks for your time and may you always find music that touches your soul.