Saturday 19 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Business opportunity

Business opportunity

J Roddy Walston went against God — or so his parents said — to pursue his heavenly brand of piano-based rock with The Business.

Joshua Boydston June 8th, 2011

J Roddy Walston and The Business
6 p.m. Tuesday
The Conservatory, 8911 N. Western, 607-4805
$10 advance, $12 door

That J Roddy Walston wanted to be a musician shouldn’t have come as a surprise, being born in a family more musical than most. Maybe it was being told at a young age that it was a sin to play music for any reason other than God or family that relegated him to privacy.

“It was kind of shocking to my family,” Walston said. “They didn’t see it coming. I had been doing all of it in secret, up in my bedroom or my friend’s basement. Then one day, I was like, ‘I have a show. Wanna come?’” Although not doing it for “the right reasons,” he realized how important music was to him at a young age.

He began writing lyrics at 10, learned guitar at 13, and piano — now his instrument of choice — a few years later by watching his grandmother.

“I guess I have a pretty deep, sentimental connection to music,” Walston said. “There are things about American music — country, soul and gospel — that kind of stirred something from way back in my childhood. I’ll play something and not know where it came from ... then it all comes back to me. It’s been fun exploring all that and digging in deeper.”

Moving from Tennessee to Baltimore, he found a group of musicians to act as his band, The Business.

The sound they formed — described as “simple rock ’n’ roll” — gave him more fits than starts; most promoters didn’t know what to do with a piano-driven rock act.

“I got put on a lot of bills full of emo bands,” he said. “The first year or two of us playing was us playing to a crowd that was there to hear something totally different from what we were putting out there. We’ve had to carve our own path, which is weird, since we are just a rock ’n’ roll band playing rock ’n’ roll.”

An infectious, near-spiritual live show helped him grind it out against the Fall Out Boy set, finally finding better-fitting audiences and a place on Vagrant Records’ roster alongside the likes of The Hold Steady. With his self-titled album released a year ago, Walston is prepping to record a batch of songs for another between summer festival dates, hoping to carry forward with what he learned to balance on the last disc.

“It’s been figuring out how to have high energy and a deeper level to it all. A lot of bands try to do both, and one of them gets in the way of the other,” he said. “The message gets in the way or the reverse of that. It took us a long time to figure out how to write that way, but I think we made a smart record that is also pretty rockin’.”

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