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Sam Champion

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Sam Champion formed in summer, 2002 in New York City as a duo: Noah Chernin (vocals/guitar) and Ryan Thornton (drums/vocals,). The band evolved into a three-piece when bassist Jack Dolgen came aboard in the fall of 2003. After Chernin, Thornton, and Dolgen recorded Sam Champion’s debut album Slow Rewind, Sean Sullivan joined on guitar and vocals, rounding out the quartet.

The band is founded on longtime friendships forged over rock & roll music, beer, cheeseburgers, and the rigors of higher education. Maybe Sam Champion’s ineffable chemistry springs from the fact that the members of the band were friends before they started making music together. And even though they’re in a band together, they’re still friends.

Slow Rewind was recorded in one week during the winter of 2004 with producer Brian Rosenworcel, who happens to be the drummer for folk-pop faves Guster, and engineer Dan Myers (Adam Green). Britt Myers (Palomar, Dressy Bessy) mixed the album.

A candid collection of songs about city life, lost love, financial instability, and (oh please, say it ain’t so!) day jobs, Slow Rewind is solidly rooted in American rock music of all sorts: the Sasquatch rock of Neil Young & Crazy Horse, the Velvet Underground’s laconic chug, the evocative economy of the Band, the Replacements’ snotty young oudness, Dinosaur Jr’s earbleeding country; one critic said Sam Champion sounds like “Pavement covering CCR,” which only begins to describe the band’s raw, languid grasp of basic truths.

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