Sam Russo - Greyhound Dreams (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Sam Russo

Greyhound Dreams (2015)

Red Scare

Greyhound Dreams is the latest album by the UK’s Sam Russo, released by Specialist Subject Records in the UK and Red Scare in the States. The album features ten songs of Russo’s brand of acoustic punk/folk.

Kicking off with the catchy “Sometimes”, the album starts strong. The track sets the precedent for the rest to follow, featuring Russo’s husky vocals and melodic, plucked guitar melodies. In the chorus, the refrain of “sometimes, sometimes” bursts above the music, backed by female vocals. It’s a great opener.

The rest of the album carries on in similar fashion, as Russo shows his talent for storytelling, especially on songs like “Crayfish Tales” which are simple and short, yet emotional and well written.

Russo often shifts between quieter, more relaxed vocals to his gravely, loud style, which works incredibly well throughout the record. Musically, the album is simple and sweet. Mostly plucked or strummed acoustic guitars which the odd backing vocal here and there. Nothing much more is needed, however, to make his spectacular voice standout.

On “Western Union”, the closer, Russo sums up the best parts of the record. It’s short, simple, and with great vocals. Backing vocals come in to make the catchy parts really pop: “it’s 3am outside a Western Union in the rain, and I’m alone.”

Russo demonstrates songwriting and simplicity at its best on Greyhound Dreams. There’s no Sam Russo band, because there isn’t one needed. He manages to carry a whole album, without it becoming repetitive or boring, with an acoustic guitar and vocals alone. That’s a talent to have.