Ric Albano

Ric AlbanoRic Albano was born and raised in Hazleton, Pa. At an early age he was a big fan of Johnny Cash, saw him for his first concert at the age of five and would mimic him when he got his first guitar at age six. As he reached adolescence, Ric became a dedicated listener of classic rock, especially Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rush, and The Doors.

In 1984, he purchased his first instrument, an odd hybrid of electric piano and harpsichord and about a year later he joined his first rock band called Running Wild. Together they wrote a handful of original songs that they played at their first gig about a week before high school graduation. About a week after graduation, the band promptly broke up.

Ric got interested in songwriting and recording. He slowly began to acquire musical instruments – electric and acoustic guitars, bass, drums and percussive instruments, harmonica – all of which he ultimately taught to himself. Using a Fostex 4-track recorder, he developed a makeshift home studio and would ultimately write and record nearly 300 songs between 1987 and 1996. Influenced by prog-rock acts such as Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Zebra, and Yes, these songs were experimental, adventurous, and eclectic with some being quite interesting and some downright disastrous. Due to the limited, semi-professional recording quality, none of these songs were ever released publicly but were curated as the collection The Evolution of Noise, 1987-1995 in 2011. There were a few of these old songs that would be used as direct influences or templates for more recent releases in the coming decades.

Also during this analog period, Ric was involved in several other musical endeavors and projects. In 1989 he received former training in audio engineering and briefly worked and recorded in a professional studio in Ohio. Later he would provide live sound for several Pennsylvania bands, including The Badlees, during the period immediately preceding their national breakthrough and large arena tours. Ric was a performing member in series of short-run bands with names such as Onyx, Misery Loves Company, and The Steel Breeze, in which he, at various times, played on guitar, drums, keyboards and/or vocals (ironically, he would not play bass in a band until Animal Society was formed, several years later). He also briefly performed as a solo acoustic act under the name Snake Simpson.

Starting in 1997, Ric took a long hiatus from writing and recording original music to focus on domestic life and working towards a college degree. During school, he subsisted as a disc jockey in Northeast PA under the name “Dr. Jones” until he received a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Bloomsburg University in 2002. In late 2003 / early 2004 Ric began a project to digitally refurbish some of the better past home recordings for a possible public release. However, he eventually decided that the best course of action would be to start from scratch with new material.

After relocating to suburban Harrisburg in 2004, Ric started a concept project called Imaginary Lines. He built a new digital home studio to record a demo and chose Saturation Acres studio, owned by Bret Alexander and Paul Smith of The Cellarbirds, for the high-end professional recordings. In 2005, he recorded and released Imaginary Lines I with Alexander on guitars and Ron Simasek on drums. This was followed up with a second release, Imaginary Lines II in 2007. Soon Ric decided to complete the Imaginary Lines project with a super-sized 33-song compilation of everything from the first two albums plus new and unused material. Future band mate, Erik Trabert provided guitars for several songs on this final phase while Simasek remained the primary drummer and Janet Rains of M80 added vocal support. The result, Imaginary Lines 33 was released internationally on September 9, 2009.

During the Imaginary Lines years, Ric developed this independent label, Cygnus Wave. In 2008, he co-produced Not One of You by 1980s new-wave band Hormoans, using archived studio recordings that Ric digitally re-mastered and released on the Cygnus Wave label. He also went on some musical tangents, writing material for other potential projects beyond Imaginary Lines. One of these projects was called “Americana on Acid” while another was called “Searching for the Perfect Sunday”. Songs from these projects may be used for a future project.

In late 2008, Ric formed the power trio Animal Society with guitarist Erik Trabert and drummer Matt Roy. Ric provided bass and vocals and wrote or co-wrote much of the band’s original material. In 2010, he produced the group’s debut album (Animal Society I), but Animal Society disbanded later that year and that album has not been officially released.

Ric also lent his talent to many charitable functions. When his sister-in-law suffered a massive debilitating stroke in 2007, Ric helped organize Dollars for Diane and was involved in all three benefit concerts, performing solo in one and with Animal Society in another. He also developed a website for this cause with future band mate Matt Roy, which was integral in collecting online donations. In late 2009, Ric and his wife Karyn produced a compilation album using donated songs from some of Pennsylvania’s finest artists. For this project, Ric wrote and produced “Song for Diane”, which was later recorded by Diane’s cousin PJ Heckman.

After 2010, Ric took another multi-year break from music as he worked to build his independent web design and publishing businesses. In 2013, he initiated Sinclair Soul, which was originally supposed to be a one-album recording project. However, those original plans did not work out. In 2016, Albano decided to re-interpret and re-mix some Imaginary Lines tracks and returned to Saturation Acres to record. This year also saw him composing a new series of songs on acoustic guitar, which ultimately led to him officially launching Sinclair Soul.

The seven-track debut Sinclair Soul album, The Journey featured four new versions of Imaginary Lines songs along with three new acoustic-based songs written in 2016. The process worked so well that it was a catalyst for much more music to come with a total of five Sinclair Soul albums released between 2017 and 2023. During the winter of 2017-18 a second album was recorded and compiled in much the same vein as the debut. Reflections of Relevance was a loose concept album focused on stories inspired by Albano’s original hometown of Hazleton, PA.

The Good Guys was commenced in late 2018 with a massive studio session in December of that year, followed by a solid year of additional recording, mixing and mastering sessions before it’s release in late 2019. This record marked the first time a majority of production was done at Paul Smith’s Eight Days a Week Studio (8DAWS) in Northumberland, PA and (along with the core 3 members) it includes a posse of top-notch musicians and producers, including Smith, vocalist Mycenea Worley, guitarist Phil Brosius and engineer Jake Albano (Ric’s son). Following this ambitious recording in 2019, Albano planned to dedicate 2020 on live performances. But of course, the COVID pandemic nixed those plans. With too much time at home, Ric decided to try recording some lo-fi, simple songs on his own home recording devices. During April and May 2020, he prolifically wrote many songs, so many in fact that he had enough make two full records. So he decided to separate these out into two different projects, with those calling for more complex arrangements held for the group recordings at 8DAWS. Ric Albano’s debut solo record, Out There Somewhere was released in October 2020, followed by the fourth overall Sinclair Soul record, The Girl with No Name, in the summer of 2021. This record returned to the roots of Sinclair Soul with the core three of Albano, Alexander, and Simasek being the only musicians featured on this rich collection of songs. In 2022, he worked on his second solo record, Another Rock to Roll. Unlike his debut however, this record drew from a lot of previously written songs – many from the original, unreleased Sinclair Soul project a decade earlier and some dating back as far as 2005. The result was a very introspective and solid record with Albano once again playing every single instrument.

Frequencies by Sinclair Soul When the song “Find Another Soul” was composed in late 2022, Ric instantly knew that this should be the final song on the final Sinclair Soul album. So 2023 was dedicated to producing this final album of 12 originals called Frequencies, which was dropped on New Year’s Eve, the final day of 2023. Frequencies is the largest and lengthiest Sinclair Soul record, featuring 12 tracks of solid classic-style rock n’ roll with various sub-genres, which we anticipate to be the pinnacle of this music project.

List of published Ric Albano solo songs
Ric Albano website


Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.