Tuesday 22 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

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
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Rector’s set

Rector’s set

Building a music career wasn’t easy, but for Tulsa native Ben Rector, all it took were untold thousands of fans.

Joshua Boydston October 19th, 2011

Ben Rector with Andrew Belle
7 p.m. Sunday, Sooner Theatre
101 E. Main, Norman
$10 advance, $13 door

Tulsa native Ben Rector has never shied away from going things alone. From striking off for college at the University of Arkansas or opting for a career as an independent musician, self-reliance has been a virtue and advantage.

“I value the total freedom to do or say whatever you want,” the singer/ songwriter said. “You take the risk and you take the reward if that comes.”

The high-risk/high-reward scenario of releasing an album independently paid off big for Rector with last month’s “Something Like This.” Despite no major financial backing or massive marketing team, the humble, folk-pop auteur stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Lil’ Wayne, Adele and Foster the People on the Top 10 iTunes chart the week of release.

“It was nuts,” he said. “I was pretty sure it wouldn’t chart very high. There were lots of huge records coming out all around that time. I didn’t think I’d be selling anywhere near that volume.”

Rector has got an uncommonly loyal fan base to thank.

“There’s nothing weird or special that I do,” he said. “As close as I can explain it is that I try really hard to put a lot of craft into the music I write. It seems like people appreciate that it’s not just about one song a record. I’ve written songs that I know will never move mountains or change someone’s mind or heart, but I have this thing where I want to do something well and not just the easiest level I can.”

There’s nothing special that I do.
—Ben Rector

His fans stayed true with “Something Like This.” The album, which saw Rector venture out a bit from his Beatles and Spoon-inspired ballads, was produced by Chad Copelin and Jarod Evans of Norman’s Blackwatch Studios and is his most daring effort to date.

“I realized that if I was going to do this as a career, I couldn’t only aim to make people happy — I had to grow as an artist and writer,” Rector said. “We took a couple risks. I meant for it to be accessible, but it’s definitely not as accessible as some of my older records. It’s bolder flavors. I’m excited that people have gone with me on it. They actually seem to like that there was some growth.”

Now a resident of Nashville, Tenn., Rector will tour through the year before pumping the brakes for some well-deserved rest and relaxation, and hopefully an extended visit in his home state.

“Being around a strong community of like-minded people, it was a great place to be raised,” he said. “The values and cultural norms that Oklahoma ingrained in me are still present in my life now, and they are things that are important to me to keep up.”

Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson

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