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 · 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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