Sam Lardner’s music represents everything a cross-cultural artistic experience should be: people from different traditions meeting in a place where everyone shines brighter. A long-time resident of Spain, Sam has performed with his flamenco fusion band throughout Europe and the United States, where he is a regular at folk and world music festivals. Sam's past trips to the USA have included headline performances at the famous Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas as well as International Spotlight Artist performances at the Falcon Ridge Festival in upstate New York.
"Oceans Are Talking" is Sam’s sixth album and represents the convergence of many of Sam’s personal, professional and artistic experiences over the past 20 years.
Before beginning his music career, Sam was a teacher of Russian and Spanish at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, and his talent as an educator and coach is evident in every performance he gives. After teaching, Sam spent a year in Moscow (1992-93) during Russia’s transition to the current free-market system. He worked on a small team for the World Bank’s International Finance Committee that conducted the first large-scale auctions of state-run companies in Volgograd, Nizhniy Novgorod and Moscow. During that year, Sam honed his skills as an intercultural communicator and intermediary and was named Head of Capital Markets of all Russian provinces before deciding that he had another calling.
Sam returned the United States in 1993 and immediately produced his first CD, “Go Long”. He began touring on the New England folk circuit as an opening act and, soon, as a headliner. He composed and produced 2 more CDs ("Still Planet Earth" and "Honest Sam") in the USA before moving to Barcelona with his wife, Katherine, in 1997. Sam and Katherine now have 4 children (Henry, Jackson, Mia and Oliver), all of whom attend Catalan schools and are native speakers of English, Spanish and Catalan.
Sam's arrival in Barcelona coincided with the huge country music boom throughout Europe in the late '90s. Sam was more or less swept into the hurricane and, within a year's time, was barnstorming southern Europe with his 8-piece mediterranean bluegrass dance band. In 2002, he released "The Sutton Club" to commemorate this romp through Europe's finest honky tonks and festivals.
When Oliver was born in 2004, Sam took a two-year break from his recording and touring to help former Dutch national soccer player, Johan Cruyff, establish his own foundation in Barcelona. The Cruyff Foundation currently distributes over 4 million euros annually to programs that help disabled children through sport. Sam’s experience as architect and general manager of this foundation left him with a deep sense of commitment to promoting social change.
Upon completion of the Cruyff Foundation project in 2006, Sam felt it was time to return to music and pay homage to Barcelona's rich musical heritage as well as to some of its most prominent musical personalities. He released "Barcelona" that year and has been riding the wave of enthusiastic acceptance of his very personal brand of flamenco fusion ever since.
All of these experiences have come together with the "Oceans Are Talking" project in 2010. All it took was good friend, Ann Luskey, to turn Sam’s head around concerning the threats to the oceans, and a project was born. Ann is a veteran activist for ocean-related issues from Washington DC and, together with Sam, has crafted a serious, spirited and powerful awareness tool in the form of 14 songs dedicated to saving the world’s ocean environments and the creatures that live there.