Shawnee songstress Samantha Crain to play Tulsa CD release show Friday
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Thursday, February 14, 2013
2/14/13 at 5:49 AM
At 26, Shawnee-raised Samantha Crain is finally comfortable in her own skin. On Tuesday, the singer-songwriter releases her new album, "Kid Face," her first new music in several years, and it's her most autobiographical outing yet.
She'll debut it all at a CD release show Friday at Fassler Hall.
"With every album I've ever done, I've done a release show in Tulsa," she said in a recent telephone interview from her home in Shawnee.
"This is going to be a big hoopla. I love doing shows there."
She's also launching a tour of the south and the East Coast to support the Ramseur Records release. The diminutive musician - standing 4 feet, 11 inches - has earned big kudos from the likes of National Public Radio, South by Southwest, the New York Times, Paste magazine, Washington Post and Rolling Stone. She's toured, played and recorded with the likes of The Avett Brothers, Meiko, Man Man, Ben Kweller and Murder by Death.
That's a lot of name-dropping. And she's not a name-dropper. She's a storyteller.
The narrative lyricist started her creative career writing short stories and poetry. "I've mostly been a fiction writer," she said. "I always added a little bit of fiction to everything I wrote."
"Kid Face" wasn't planned, she said. "I just started writing, and about three songs in I got excited and decided to make the album completely autobiographical."
Take the title track. She laughs, but it's an obvious nod to her youthful looks and short stature. "Plus, my friends joked that Kid Face would be my name if I was a rapper."
So there it is.
"It's interesting how people treat you when they make assumptions about you," she said. "They think I'm really young, that I'm physically weaker or something. I'm OK with people's misperceptions now that I know who I am. ... The older I get, the more comfortable I get about writing what I know."
Songs like "Taught to Lie," "Sand Paintings" and "Never Going Back" get very personal. The latter describes in detail how she severed ties in an unhealthy relationship.
The entire album was recorded over eight days without any computers, she said.
Fan - and critical - reaction to her new music has been life-affirming, she said. She's making a dent with more than the "public-radio intellectuals."
This week the singer-songwriter was featured by MTV's Hive blog with "Five Reasons You Should Know Samantha Crain." The No. 1 reason being, "She Knows How to Survive on Just Peanut-Butter Crackers."
Yeah, that adds a lot of cred to an up-and-coming musician these days. Plus, she can do a mean cover of Neil Young and loves the music of Paul Simon.
Moreover, she thanks her Choctaw heritage for inspiration and structure. "I can say that Choctaw songs were the first music I was exposed to as a child. The vocalizations and rhythms are very important to that style of music - as it has become in mine," she said.
"I quickly learned that they will use nonsense words with real words and that the Choctaw music is very much emotional and guttural. It's almost like speaking in tongues. That's definitely influenced the way I create music."
To a certain extent, she also credits her heritage with her wanderlust.
"A tour, for me, is no small undertaking," she laughed.
Crain set out last year on her own, traveling town to town by herself in a van.
"It was solo acoustic stuff, mostly," she said. "I don't know what I enjoy most about being on the road. Some people feel at home in their pretty house. I feel most at home moving. Traveling is my element. It's what I'm comfortable doing."
CD release party
with Skating Polly and Parker Millsap
When: Doors open 9 p.m., showtime 10 p.m.
Where: Fassler Hall, 304 S. Elgin Ave.
Tickets: $7 at the door. Must be 21.
Oklahoma City: Blue Door, 8 p.m. Saturday, 2805 N. McKinley Ave., Oklahoma City. Must be 21. $15 advance, $20 at the door.
Guestroom Records, 3:30 p.m. Saturday. All-ages. Free. 3701 N. Western Ave., Oklahoma City.
Original Print Headline: Soulful traveler
Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346
Shawnee-raised singer-songwriter Samantha Crain Courtesy