Scott Samuels
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Scott Samuels

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Discography

Great Big World - *To be released March 2013
Another Day, Another Episode - Roxy Monoxide, 2009
Recommended By Doctors - Kitten's Pharmacy, 1995

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Bio

Scott Samuels is a rock and roll survivor with lots of stories to tell. An imaginative singer-songwriter who, according to powerpopaholic.com, “plays a mean axe”, he learned a thing or two about survival and tenacity from his neighbors, having grown up in Skokie, IL – a suburb of Chicago ~best known for having the largest population of holocaust survivors in the nation. Samuels began his rock and roll journey at eight years old, along with his brother and cousin, banging away on toy guitars and drums to the Monkees – an inauspicious start, but hey, everyone needs that first inspiration. Throughout his life, Samuels’ love for rock and roll’s “hidden treasures”, and his unique ability to recount the quirkiest milestones of life, love and career, has fueled his songwriting and performances. As San Diego’s SLAMM Magazine once said, he definitely “knows his way around a pop hook” – and back again.

A veteran front man of six different bands over the years, Samuels is now mining the rich history of his musical and personal past and present with the release of his first full-length solo CD, “Great Big World.” Samuels hits the road on a solo acoustic tour of the Midwest and the Pacific coast to coincide with the CD’s release in March 2013. An ambitious first solo outing, the CD includes eight of Samuels’ original songs and two covers of tunes that resonate with him in a big way – The Plimsouls’ “Great Big World” and Errol Brown’s (Hot Chocolate) “It Started with a Kiss.” A songwriter extraordinaire, Samuels seemingly remembers every detail of his life – a boon for those of us that appreciate vivid storytelling.

A master of irony in his lyrics, it isn’t any wonder how he got there. Samuels has been a frequent audience member in the theater of the absurd since he received his first real guitar in 1970 and took lessons from a guy in a Hawaiian band with a life-sized plastic palm tree in his studio. His high school band’s first gig was at a local nursing home, and the song they recorded to save their school from closing has become somewhat of regional cult object, changing hands on eBay for upwards of $25. In college at Michigan State, Samuels got the jump on Mike Myers, producing a weekly public access cable TV show, “Minority Derelict Wrestling” a la “Wayne’s World.” He supplemented his artistic forays by gigging with a variety of very short-lived bands and then took a hiatus from music with a detour that included marriage, kids and a career.

Samuels got lured back onto the music path in 1986 when he rented a four-track recorder for a work-related project and got the urge to experiment. Moving to the San Diego area, in 1991 Samuels joined The Rhythm Slaves (formerly legendary San Diego band The Snails), and returned to performing and consistent songwriting output after leading the quiet suburban life (albeit more fodder for his songs). While in the Rhythm Slaves, Samuels honed his guitar and vocal chops with shows alongside venerable San Diego bands like the Penetrators and the T-Birds, and regional touring that included a memorable Mardi Gras tour in Houston, New Orleans and the Midwest. He went on to lead the infamous San Diego power pop band, Kitten’s Pharmacy (1993 to 1998), who played shows with Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate), Bow Wow Wow, Third Eye Blind and D-Generation, among others. The band also released a positively-reviewed CD that featured 12 Samuels-penned songs. Another ‘90s project was a collaboration (Split Focus) with Portland-based singer-songwriter Sheryl Ross.

His next band, Roxy Monoxide (2000-2009), achieved well-deserved recognition and status in power pop circles nationally, performing at three International Pop Overthrow Festivals in Los Angeles and San Diego. Samuels currently performs regularly in the sequel to Roxy Monoxide, Roxy Dioxide, with three members from the final Roxy Monoxide incarnation, and with the tribute band, Vinyl Pirates (formerly A.M. forever), that he conceived, to pay homage to little known rock and power pop gems of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The band covers Samuels’ early influences – the songs he listened to growing up in Chicago. An accomplished musician, songwriter and high energy performer, Samuel’s active musical life also includes production and mastering projects for a variety of local, regional and national acts.