John Borra & Sam Ferrara
John Borra and (Screamin’) Sam Ferrara have been playing together since the mid 1990s. As a duo and as founding members of Rattlesnake Choir (2006-2018) they’ve made records and played over a thousand shows together. Their weekly Sunday matinee at Toronto hip spot The Communist’s Daughter celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2019.
One of the unique aspects of this pair is Sam’s one-of-a-kind percussion instruments. Mostly his own creations, Sam can be seen playing Slinky, Cheese Grater, Musical Saw and Spoons along with J.B. on his guitar cutting through their arsenal of songs. Together they make a formattable sound.
Sam is no stranger to innovation. He was a member of two of Toronto’s original-six first wave punk bands beginning in 1976 with The Ugly and then joining the Viletones in 1978. He would form his own ‘Screamin’ Sam (and the Problems)’ in the early 80s through to the mid 90s releasing the exceptional ‘Dust’ in 1994.
As core members of Rattlesnake Choir, J.B. and Sam have released three records together – ‘Live Music’ (2008), ‘Walkin’ The Wire’ (2011) and ‘The Prospector’s Curse’ (2015). Currently Sam can be heard singing and playing on J.B.’s new record ‘Blue Wine’ (2020).
A celebrated metal sculptor, Sam’s been showing and selling his work for over 30 years and has pieces in hundreds of homes and spaces across the country and beyond. Sam’s patented Pin People grace the covers of two JB related records, ‘One Night at Seven in The Morning’ (John Borra Band) and the Rattlesnake’s ‘Walkin’ The Wire’. Sam’s Slinky instrument is his own invention and he’s the only one in town banging out his own replacement cheese grater parts.
Often asked if they’re related, these two share a deep musical kinship that goes back a long time and continues to develop with every passing year.