Born and raised in Hazleton, PA, Ric Albano became a dedicated listener of music trhoughout childhood, morphing from country/western to pop to classic rock. 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, named Running Wild. Together they wrote a handful of original songs that they played at their first gig about a week before high school graduation in 1986. 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 slowly taught to himself. Using a Fostex 4-track recorder, he developed a makeshift home studio and would ultimately write and record nearly 300 songs under the pseudonym RAREx (later renamed Wahray and Soul) between 1987 and 1996. Influenced by prog-rock acts, these songs were experimental, adventurous, and eclectic. Some were quite interesting, some less than inspiring, but due to the semi-professional recording quality, none of these songs had ever been released publicly until a 72-song digital collection called The Evolution of Noise, 1987-1995 was put out on the Cygnus Wave website in 2011.
In 1989, Ric he received former training in Audio Engineering at The Recording Workshop and briefly worked and recorded in a professional studio in Ohio. Later he would work live sound for several Pennsylvania bands, including The Badlees during the period immediately preceding their national breakthrough. Ric was also a performing member in series of short-run bands with names such as Misery Loves Company and The Steel Breeze and also briefly performed as a solo acoustic.
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. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and relocating to suburban Harrisburg, PA, Ric returned to writing and recording with a concept project called Imaginary Lines. He built a small home studio to record a demo and chose Saturation Acres Recording Studio, owned by Bret Alexander and Paul Smith, for the high-end professional recordings. In 2005, Ric recorded and released Imaginary Lines I with Alexander on guitars and another Badlee and longtime friend, Ron Simasek on drums. This was followed up with a second release, Imaginary Lines II in 2007. The project was completed in 2009 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.
In 2008, Ric formed the band Animal Society was formed in 2008 with drummer Matt Roy and guitarist Erik Trabert. In the band, Ric played bass guitars and provided lead vocals, performing unique adaptations of classic rock songs before writing and developing original material. Ric produced the band’s eponymous debut album, which was released digitally in late 2010, shortly after the band called quits.
Through the early 2010s, Ric continued to compose and arrange songs as well as occasionally play a live gig under the stage name Sinclair Soul, with plans for a final studio project made but never executed. In the summer of 2016, Albano pivoted focus to acoustic guitar, an instrument he had not played regularly in over two decades (for the entirety of the Imaginary Lines project he played strictly keyboards and bass). He wrote three acoustic songs in late 2016 early 2017 and planned to record and package them as an EP. However, the recording experience made him decide to go a step further and take some of the better Imaginary Lines songs and update them, combining new and old to make the initial Sinclair Soul album, The Journey, released in June 2017. Within a year, he decided to replicate the experience with the same kind of formula for the second Sinclair Soul album, Reflections of Relevance, released in March 2018.