Sam Llanas
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Sam Llanas

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | INDIE

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"GARY TANIN Anthology II (1973-1980)"

Anthology II (1973-1980)
(Daystorm Music)

Gary Tanin is a veteran of the Milwaukee music scene, having produced and mastered albums for the Gufs, Yell Leaders, Reedy Buzzards and Acoustic Warriors. Tanin recently released two anthologies' worth of music he recorded in the 70's on LP and 45, and it is on Anthology II that we find a reissue of his 1975 album Otto & The Elevators packaged with previously unreleased material.

Even by today's standards, the music here is bright and bold, Tanin sticking his grubby fingers in every possible piece of genre pie: "everything from polka rythyms to blues guitar licks, cool jazz soloing, Tin Pan Alley melodies and Stax-Volt soul." More info at Feck off, Beck!

Mark Wong - BigO (October, 2002)

"Gary Tanin - Incurable Romantic"

Tanin's music has a remarkable lasting power and tends to sound as viable today as when it was first recorded. This is probably due to its lyrical quality. At a time when dissonance and punk are in vogue, Tanin, an incurable romantic at heart, sings about sun and rain, love and happiness, just as he always has, putting sincere feeling into the words linked to his memorable tunes.

One of his songs says: "It's not too late to change the world," Tanin still believes that. "Without faith, none of us ever has anything," he said.

Gary Peterson
The Milwaukee Sentinel
June 17, 1977

- The Milwaukee Sentinel June (1977)

"Roger Powell - Fossil Poets"

by Greg Prato

Quite a few years have passed since fans have heard anything from former Utopia keyboardist Roger Powell. The last he was spotted, he was part of a brief Utopia tour of Japan (documented on the Redux '92: Live in Japan DVD), yet rumors spread that after the tour, he had all but retired from the music biz. Then, from seemingly out of nowhere, 2006 saw the appearance of Powell's first solo release in a dog's age, Fossil Poets. Joined by guitarist/bassist Greg Koch (with producer Gary Tanin adding some extra synth parts, as well), Fossil Poets is an entirely instrumental affair. But instead of focusing on their playing chops (as most instrumental rock albums do), the songs are mostly about creating texture, including the ambient album opener, "Lone Gunmen,” and the robotic "Fallout Shelter.” Elsewhere, Koch provides some tasty Jeff Beck-esque guitar work (circa Beck's classic Blow by Blow/Wired period) on "Test Drive" and "Osmosis." Although Fossil Poets won't be challenging the Dixie Chicks for the top of the album charts anytime soon, longtime Utopia fans will surely be pleased with the album that signals Powell's return from the "missing person's list."

Rating 3.5 Stars

- All Music Guide (2006)

"JAZZ by John Ephland"

June 2007
JAZZ by John Ephland

Roger Powell: Fossil Poets (Inner Knot 680; 51:22)
Multi-instrumentalist Powell's trio is less in your face than The Gang Font, more melodic, but still experimental and unpredictable. Synths, guitars, mandolin, accordion, organ and flugelhorn make up some of his arsenal, as guitarist/bassist Greg Koch and synthplayer Gary Tanin join Powell for song credits across 15 selections that span the gamut between hard-edged fusion, space music, a twinge of country and funk-all of it contrasting with what came before. "Creme Fraiche" features rocking guitar lines, a constant pulse and juicy organ lines. "Tribe By Fire" includes stop-time cadences to build momentum through heavily synthesized throbbing bass lines, angelic synths and some Native American flute.
Ordering info:

Rating: 3- Stars - DOWNBEAT Magazine (June 2007)

"Mix - Cool Spins"

Roger Powell
Fossil Poets
(Inner Knot)

Best known for his stint with Todd Rundgren's Utopia, multi-instrumentalist Roger Powell teams up with guitarist/bassist Greg Koch and musician/arranger/engineer Gary Tanin for an instrumental voyage that combines pleasingly catchy retro (and modern) synth textures with atmospheric guitars in a series of stylistically varied compositions. If parts are redolent with echoes of Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk and other synth pioneers, there is still a lot of original thought in these arrangements, which variously pulse and drift and cascade in many directions. Back in the day, we woud've called this "a great headphone album"; that's still a compliment. The sonics are amazing––every bleep, bloop, swoosh and guitar cry is right there. Check out "Créme Faiche," "Tribe By Fire" and "Miles [as in Davis] Per Gallon."

Producer/recorders: Gary Tanin, Roger Powell.
Engineering, mixing and mastering by Tanin at GTLabs(Milwaukee). Powell's studio work: Pitchbend (Northern California).
––Blair Jackson
Senior Editor

COPYRIGHT 2007, Penton Media Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - Mix Magazine (December, 2007)


Studio Albums

Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams (1986) US #115
Outside Looking In (1987) US #86
Home (1989) US #94
Black and White (1991) US #105
Go Slow Down (1993) US #127
Blend (1996) US #132
Resolution (2004) US #196
Still (2008)
Mr. Sad Clown (2010) U.S. #172

Live albums/compilations

Joe Dirt Car (1995) (2 CD live set) US #161
Slash and Burn (2001) (Best of)
The Leftovers (2003) (Rarities collection)
Homebrewed: Live from the Pabst (2005) (2 CD live set)


Homebrewed: Live from the Pabst (2005) (DVD)

Music videos

She's a Runaway (1986)
Fadeaway (1986)
Only Love (1987)
Dreams (1988)
Good Work (1989)
You Don't Get Much (1989)
Good Things (1991)
Black White & Blood Red (1991)
Closer to Free (1993)



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sam Llanas (born in 1961) is a singer, acoustic guitarist, and songwriter in several rock and roots rock bands active from the 1980s to the 2000s, including the BoDeans and Absinthe. Sam is known for his unusual and distinctive voice.

Llanas was one of the founding members of the roots rock band the BoDeans, which he formed with high school friend Kurt Neumann in Waukesha, Wisconsin. In 1985, after adding Guy Hoffman (drums) in 1984 and Bob Griffin (bass), the quartet signed a contract with Slash/Warner Records and shortened their name to the BoDeans.

Under the guidance of producer T-Bone Burnett, they entered Hollywood's Sunset Sound Factory in October to record their first album. The critically acclaimed debut Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams was released in 1986. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the band had several singles in the top 40 "mainstream rock" charts. In the mid-1990s, the band had two top 10 songs in the "Adult contemporary" charts.

The BoDeans took some time off in the late 1990s so Neumann and Llanas could record solo albums. Llanas founded Absinthe, with the help of Milwaukee musicians Jim Eannelli (guitars and bass) and Guy Hoffman (formerly of Oil Tasters and Violent Femmes, currently of Radio Romeo). They have released one album, 1998's A Good Day To Die.