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Samantha Crain plays album release show at Blue Door in Oklahoma City

Singer-songwriter Samantha Crain still yearns to wander but always comes home to Oklahoma.
BY GENE TRIPLETT Published: February 15, 2013
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“And I think it's a good approach, so you don't overanalyze the record, or else you just overthink it.”

Stylistically, Crain feels that “Kid Face” leans a little more toward the countrified shadings of her first EP, “The Confiscation” (2007) and her first LP, “Songs in the Night” (2009) with her then-band, the Midnight Shivers, while her last full-length, post-Shivers album “You (Understood)” (2010) took a little harder turn into rock 'n' roll.

Of all her recorded work to date, Crain favors “Kid Face” for its audio quality as much as its lyrical honesty.

“That has a lot to do with John and his efficiency and knowledge at analog recording and his ability as an engineer as well, and then it also has a lot to do with the mastering process of it too,” she said. “I think everything fits really well.”

Lured by travel

Crain herself fits well in the ever-growing Oklahoma singer-songwriter community, although she confesses she first became a traveling troubadour for the travel as much as the tunecraft.

“(Music) wasn't the forefront thing on my mind,” she said. “I'd had a guitar for a while. My dad bought me one at an early age, but I didn't really have much interest in it until I got into college, and then I started kind of teaching myself how to play just out of boredom, kind of.

“But really what started the whole writing and touring thing was I really just wanted to travel, and I naively kind of, my idea was, well, if I write a couple of songs, then I can book some shows and travel around and fund my really low-budget form of traveling through music. And I did, and sort of my love for singing and writing and playing and performing kind of came the more I did it. I started appreciating the art of it, and it became sort of my mode of expression more than just the thing I did just to get from one place to the other.

“So it kind of went about in a strange way but, yeah, it really just all was spurred because I wanted to see something other than Oklahoma.”

Appreciation for home

Since getting serious about music, her albums have earned some seriously favorable notices from such national publications as Rolling Stone, Paste Magazine and The New York Times.

But if her wanderlust is still stirring, she has no desire to move her home base elsewhere.

“My family's all in Oklahoma,” Crain said. “It's a pretty good central location as far as touring. I mean you're in the middle of the country. So you can get to either coast within 24 hours ... I'm already working with the people that I want to be working with as far as my career goes.

“I'm not really trying to meet anybody new as far as moving to L.A. or New York City or something like that. And because the cost of living is cheaper here, even if I'm not touring, if I wanted to go on trips somewhere else just for the experience of it, then I can do that because I save more money living here.

“And I like Oklahoma. There's a lot of good things happening as far as the music scene goes, and (John) Fullbright just got nominated for a Grammy and there's a lot of great bands up in Tulsa and in Norman right now, so I think it's a perfectly good place to be.”

In fact, such homegrown talents as Fullbright, Ali Harter, Sherree Chamberlain and Parker Millsap are all close friends of Crain.

“And there's probably a tight community between the kids that are coming up through the ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music) school as far the rock scene is concerned right now,” Crain said.

“So I don't know how broad it is, you know, overarching, but I think there's little pockets of good (musical) communities that are sometimes separated by genre and sometimes not.”


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