All About Scott

Scott Samuels is a rock and roll survivor with lots of stories to tell. An imaginative singer-songwriter who, according to, “plays a mean axe”.  In addition to his career as singer/songwriter, performing his songs solo as well as with The Scott Samuels Band, Scott performs as Neil Diamond in the Solitary Diamonds tribute band, and as Noel Gallagher in the Oasiz tribute band. He also sings and plays guitar in his longstanding covers project, The Vinyl Pirates, performing “AM Gold” and the hidden treasures of ’60s through ’80s rock and roll.

As San Diego’s SLAMM Magazine once said, Scott definitely “knows his way around a pop hook” – and back again. Throughout his life, Scott’s love for rock and roll’s “hidden treasure”, and his unique ability to recount the quirkiest milestones of life, love and career, has fueled his songwriting and performances. His simple, honest and unpretentious vocal style has drawn comparisons to Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum, Tom Petty, and Elvis Costello, among others.

A veteran front man of several bands over the years, including power pop legends Roxy Monoxide, he’s shared stages from San Diego to Houston to New Orleans to Chicago with The Fixx, Bow Wow Wow, and Steve Wynn and The Miracle Three, among others. 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 hit the road on a solo acoustic tour of the Midwest and the Pacific coast to coincide with the CD’s release in March 2013. A mid-summer tour brought him to Texas and Louisiana, culminating with a return home to California, with a showcase performance at The Los Angeles International Pop Overthrow Festival.  In late fall, he will tour several Midwest cities for a second time since his CD release. An ambitious first solo outing, his Great Big World CD includes eight of original songs and two covers of tunes that resonate with Samuels 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.

He has since performed in 34 different states, and released five other albums, including “The Fall”, “Live at Uncommon Ground”, “Fabulous Reality”, an anthology entitled “Completely Amazing Day”, and his most recent album, 2021’s glam-influenced “Sunshine and Starlight” which featured his song “Before They Knew It”, a chart-topping hit on neo-glam internet radio mainstay Dandy’s Stardust Dive. His most recent single release, 2023’s “The Flame That’s You” features Samuels performing all instruments and vocals with a sound that melds Power Pop, Glam and New Country genres.

A detailed history of Scott’s musical career can be found here:


“Scott Samuels is a San Diego singer/songwriter whose website tags his music as “powerpop.” Part of the SD scene since the late ’80s, he has been involved in several band projects, including Roxy Dioxide, Kitten Pharmacy, and other groups, including a Neil Diamond tribute act. As a solo, he has been busy, with six releases since 2013. His latest is a five-song EP, Sunshine & Starlight.
Samuels wrote four of the tunes and plays all of the instruments, except for keys on one track. He is among the growing list of artists who have expanded their role from guitarist to cover the other instruments, as well as self-producing the set. Available for download, the sound on this project is energetic on a group of single-length songs (all but one in the 3-1/2 minute range.) The opener, “Don’t Let Go,” cranks things up from the get-go, as Samuels piles on layers of guitars and a churning rhythm section while making the lyrical commitment, “We’ll be together now/And forever more/ From this moment on/ There’s no in-between.” The up-tempo tune has a strong bass/drum driving force, like power pop should.
“More Than Fine” flashes a Tom Petty/Heartbreakers influence, this time expressing his feelings for a lover who he recently met and fell for, power pop that rocks convincingly with crystal clear guitars that sound like Rickenbackers, and gets dynamics mileage from infectious, harmonized choruses. The crisp guitars are back on “Intuition,” which adds keyboard strings to fill out the sound. Samuels has some well-grounded lyrical ideas; on this tune it is about a connection described as “There’s only so far thoughts can take me now/ Just gonna feel it from the heart.”
The longest song on the program is “Before They Knew It.” The pace here is slower on a tune that might be too long, as the subject matter is the saga of a long-term relationship of a couple from age 16 to 60, from young lovers to two relative strangers whose wonderment with each other was eroded by the passage of time and circumstances. Tim Moore wrote “Rock and Roll Love Letter,” which closes the set, and it zips along briskly, a chugging rocker that is the catchiest song on this disc, featuring some impressive Samuels guitar playing while delivering lyrics like “Cause you see an ancient rhythm in a man’s genetic code/ Gonna keep on rock ‘n’ rolling till my genes explode.” Sunshine and Starlight offers an enjoyable batch of well-crafted pop, courtesy of Scott Samuels.” – Frank Kocher, San Diego Troubadour

“Singer-songwriter Scott Samuels is a vet of bands such as Kitten’s Pharmacy, Roxy Monoxide, A.M. Forever (akaVinyl Pirates), and a Neil Diamond tribute act, Solitary Diamonds. He just released a new solo five-song EP called Sunshine and Starlight for download and streaming. “Shortly thereafter will come the CDs and vinyl for people like me, who like to have something you can hold in your hands,” says Samuels. “I thank one of my musical compadres, Scott Spindler, for adding some Bowie-esque keyboard touches to one of the tunes. Other than that, these performances, the production, and nearly all the songwriting is completely me, from start to finish. This album, more than any other I’ve done, reflects my ‘70s glam-rock influences, and I’m really excited to share the results.” The cover photo was shot at Clear Lake, Iowa that should be instantly familiar to fans of rock and roll history. “This is the marker that leads you to the spot where the plane carrying Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper crashed, about a half mile along the fence line of this farm field.”

-Jay Allen Sanford, The Local Five, San Diego Reader, April 2021

“When you hear the opening notes of ‘Just Wanna’ from Scott Samuels latest release ‘Fabulous Reality!’, you are drawn into that realm where bands like R.E.M., Wire Train, and The Smithereens skirted the mainstream pop trends in lieu of something built to last. Scott’s music is earnestly grown from this legacy of seeds.

The song ‘In the Moment’ has a cool Paul Westerberg vibe that drives the song into a simultaneously barbed and sweet testimony of the struggle to enjoy the present tense of what sounds like a loosely held together and rocky relationship. The track ‘Something Stupid’ really shows off Scott’s diversity as a musician as he channels a Tex-Mex ballad right down to the imagined swaying hips of a young Senorita. This imagery is possibly derived from the addition of female harmonies by Marie Haddad. It has a groove that immediately conjures imagery of some not so distant South of the boarder Cantina (margaritas anyone?)

When you contrast the differences between the sounds achievable by Scott, you can really hear an artist who has taken the time to embrace their craft. The song ‘Insecurity’ is probably the hardest hitting track on this release, with a dash of Lenny Kravitz and dollop of Elvis Costello; Scotts recipe for a good tune is tastey. I would expect to hear Scott doing an intimate stripped down version of ‘What you Really Need’ on Sirius XM’s ‘Coffee House’ station within the next year and at the very least a few spins on ‘The Spectrum’ station.”

– Michael Elam, Blue Harvest Records 

“Perhaps best known for the energetic recordings and live appearances in the San Diego-based power pop outfit Roxy Monoxide, guitarist Scott Samuels has opted for the singer-songwriter modus operandi on his new six-song EP, The Fall.  The best attributes of  Roxy Monoxide–melodies and lyrics- have followed Samuels on this current stop in his musical sojourn. The title of the EP has a double meaning.  Tracks were recorded during the autumn of 2013. “The Fall, ” the opening tune, is also a reference of “falling” head over heels in romantic bliss before reality provides a swift kick in the posterior. There’s a word for the current generation of self-absorbed couples ( is the word “entitlement?”) and the final chorus of the song finds Samuels dishing out the just rewards for such narcissism.  In addition to three other original compositions (“Timing is Everything,” “Thinking Too Much,” and “Nothing Left to Prove”), the EP features the wonderful “If I Could Start Today Again” written by Australia’s Paul Kelly and the Roy Wood yuletide classic (at least in the UK) “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday.” While the back cover of the EP shows falling leaves, Scott Samuel’s latest collection would sound just as good while sipping a cold one in the heat of August.”

-Steve Thorn, San Diego Troubadour — complete review here:

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