Sam Russell & The Harborrats are a long-time beloved Seattle institution, distilling vintage rock n’ roll styles from the 1950s all the way through modern day to create a sonic experience equal parts transcendent & joyful.

Sam is joined by Ken Nottingham (vocals, bass, keyboards) and Aimee Zoe (vocals, drums, percussion), together confidentially showcasing their musical versatility and signature blend of humor & intensity. 

The band exemplifies this versatility via a vast range of influences from rock n' roll's golden eras,  including…

-1950s doo-wop & rockabilly (Buddy Holly, Little Richard) 
-1960s garage-rock + girl-group  (The Rolling Stones, The Ronettes) 
-1970s disco + classic rock (Abba, Fleetwood Mac) 
-1990s-2020s indie-rock (The Strokes, The White Stripes)

…and using these classic styles to create their own works as well as “live remixings” of modern pop classics (Dua Lipa, Beyoncé , Harry Styles) and 80s/90s floor-fillers (Madonna, Prince, Nirvana) which preserve the soul & beat of the song while helping the listener find new meanings within.

In their live performances, the band emulate the finest DJs who practice the art of reading a crowd and communicating back on the same wavelength. They use their vast repertoire & musical communication skills to play what is right in the moment while imparting a larger message of clarity and unity, never stopping until the end of the set. No two sets are the same and every show is guaranteed to be unique to the audience present.

Sam’s elastic soulful vocals bridge the musical eclecticism by effortlessly switching from delicate falsetto to low soft-spoken croon to gritty testifying at a moment’s notice in the tradition of Al Green, Van Morrison & Otis Redding..  Says Sam:  

“Ray Charles once said when you’re singing a song, it doesn’t matter whether you wrote it or not. It’s YOUR song and your job as the singer and band is to make it yours.”  

The band’s last album, the doo-wop + indie-rock-influenced Ocean Shores from 2021 includes as bonus tracks Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” turned into a rockabilly rave-up, Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” transformed into glam-rock rager and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” into a slinky disco-groove booty-shaker.  The album enjoyed national and international airplay, including KEXP and KBCS in the band’s base of Seattle, with original songs focusing on themes of deeply personal themes of melancholy and regret in the Covid-era.

Since their inception, the band has recorded 7 albums of primarily original material leading them to share the stage with Fleet Foxes, Violent Femmes, Mudhoney, Ben Gibbard, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, La Luz, Archie Bronson Outfit, The Fastbacks, Red Elvises, Graham Parker and members of Pearl Jam & Soundgarden at some of the Pacific Northwest’s most prestigious venues and across the nation.

The band is currently at work on their ambitious LOSE YOUR ILLUSION project, comprised of songs written throughout Covid lockdown up to the present expanding on the themes of Ocean Shores and their previous works. They've released preview singles from the project of  “Shake Off the Shame” & ”You Like Me So Much More (Than You Think You Do” and “The Perfect Sunflower” single in June.

See Sam & band live by checking our their upcoming live dates or book them for YOUR event by clicking link below!


 "more a garage-soul band more than anything, but they work in lots of other stuff. (Sam) has loads of stage presence and a strong voice" 
Don Slack, KEXP 90.3, Seattle 

"Russell is a real rarity in any music scene: a genuine, captivating performer who’s part preacher, part timeless rock and roller who always seems to generate genuine electricity on stage....He’s a refreshing original in this town who’s, somehow, already a star – the rest of us just haven’t figured it out yet." 
Jon Rooney, Nada Mucho 

"It's easy to be icked out by the term "blue-eyed soul". It conjures images of middle-aged white dudes raping the soul of Sam Cooke and it's been applied to everyone from yacht-rocker Michael McDonald to the Off the Wall stylings of Justin Timberlake. But in the case of Sam Russell's Harborrats, whose past EP's have run the rootsy gamut between the Killer and the Boss, the term is apt." 
Ma'chell Duma, Seattle Weekly 

"Sam Russell is a performer an audience loves, and just about every musician is loath to follow." 
Bart Cameron, Ball of Wax Quarterly 

"the doo-wopping local boys in Sam Russell & the Harborrats defy rockabilly cliché and show promise with their unaffected take on blue-eyed soul and rock..." 
Hannah Levin, The Stranger 

"a Midwestern bizarro version of Springsteen’s Asbury Park circa “The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle.”......Like so many artists you gravitate toward, the river runs deep in Russell" 
Paddy FIneran, Kenosha News 

"As a vocalist he can deliver folk songs, soul songs and rockers....As a songwriter, he seems to have no genre boundaries, and has the ability to write songs that sound like classics from the first listen." 
When You Motor

"Let your faith –the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of that music which has yet to be heard– guide you. For Sam Russell is the light."” - Sean Jewell

— American Standard Time