Saturday 12 Jul

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0

Kyle Reid & the Low Swinging Chariots - “When I Was Young”

Every artist should be the star of their own creative life, which makes Kyle Reid’s steps out of the shadows of the many ensembles and supporting roles he has played in Oklahoma bands over the years to front and center on stage feel like a just journey.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Paul revered

Paul revered

After folk musician Ellis Paul needed his fans’ help — and got it — he’s been crafting his finest songs ever in thanks.

Joshua Boydston July 13th, 2011

Ellis Paul
7 p.m. Friday
The Blue Door
2805 N. McKinley, 524-0738
$20 advance, $25 door

Folk musician Ellis Paul has faced a lot of audiences over his two-decade career. His new foray into children’s music has him facing the toughest one yet.

“It’s like painting with primary colors:

no subtle shades,” he said. “You’ve got to get their attention quicker, use exciting language. It’s a lot more demanding. I really have to be on my game.”

It may seem an odd venture for a songwriter of his stature, having toured the country to sold-out shows, and cowritten hits for bands like Sugarland. But he has a good reason — two, in fact.

“I have two little girls, and I wanted to write music that they could listen to while I was gone that was written for them. I feel like I’m fulfilling a parental responsibility,” Paul said. “Folk is music for the people, and I feel like I’m more of a folksinger writing these songs than I do singing my regular songs.”

Paul still places much of his focus on “grown-up” songwriting — which fans can hear Friday at The Blue Door — but the elements of children’s music are seeping in one way or another.

“I’m learning how to write more succinctly. Early on, the lyrics per square foot were pretty dense,” he said with a laugh. “Now there’s a lot more space.”

Listeners have made sure to reward his continued growth and maturity with more than just ticket sales and album purchases. When Paul parted ways with his old record label in 2008, he found financiers directly from his consumer base, to the tune of $100,000 in donations for recording and distribution.

“The outpouring … it was more than any record label had ever contributed to one of my projects before,” he said. “We were really amazed that much happened, right around the time the economy was crashing. Money was tight, so that was phenomenal.”

Such monumental support demanded a product worthy of it. Paul went into the studio to record last year’s “The Day Everything Changed” with a renewed — and clarified — sense of loyalty to his followers.

“It was like we all owned a part of it,” Paul said. “I knew I needed to do something they would all be proud of. Sometimes you are trying to please a record label, sometimes you are trying to please the critics, and this was a situation where I just wanted to put out the best record I could for the fans.”

Paul is now looking toward to getting back into the studio to record a follow-up for sometime early next year, still not resting on his laurels and wanting — now more than ever — to please his fans calling for new, good music.

“Each record sets the bar a little higher than the last,” he said. “I want to keep developing that way.”

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