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.
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.
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.
As titles go, Churches into Theatersis 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.
“In any relationship, communication is very key,” said singer Keith
Sweat about his forthcoming book of romantic-relationship advice, “Make
It Last Forever.” “As a man who has always known what he wants in a
relationship, it’s been an easy subject to analyze.”
Sweat, who appeared Saturday at Riverwind Casino in Norman, has been cultivating relationships with fans for years, since debuting solo with the monster hit “I Want Her,” ushering in the new jack swing style of the late 1980s. “Twisted” and “Nobody” came with the second wave in the mid 1990s, both Billboard hits which likely played at your junior high or wedding dance.
“It’s a norm when people have grown up with you,” said Sweat, now 50. “It’s normal for people to feel like they are a part of their childhood or part of their first love or when they first got married or whatever.”
With that rapport solidified, his current station has him touring; producing his most recent album, last year’s “Til the Morning”; and hosting “The Sweat Hotel,” a syndicated, call-in radio show where listeners bring confessions and stories to the man behind the mic.
Listen to “Nobody” again. Who wouldn’t want to hear his advice on relationships?
“A lot of times relationships break up because two people do not know how to communicate,” Sweat said. “They talk at each other, not to each other. That destroys many relationships. If I got a woman yelling at me, as opposed to saying, ‘Can I talk to you a minute? This is bothering me’ … you might say the same thing, but it’s the way you say it that makes me more receptive or not receptive.”
STILL IN THE GAME He’s listening to his listeners.
“They want to fix whatever’s broken. [Their relationship is] not what it used to be in the very beginning,” he said. “They’re trying out ways to fix what has been broken or what has been messed up, so they try and find ways to fix it.”
But can he fix them?
“Most definitely,” Sweat said. “It’s not even a problem.”
Just don’t call him a doctor in the field.
“No, I don’t feel like a love doctor,” he said. “I feel like Keith Sweat, who will let people call on me and ask for advice.”
Sweat, who grew up in Harlem listening to The O’Jay’s and The Isley Brothers on the radio, approaches his music the same cavalier manner: It’s just business-as-usual.
“Basically, I have a built in audience. I’m already established from back in the day. It’s not hard at all for me. It’s an audience that’s been very loyal to me,” he said. “I have a catalog that’s very wide and long. It’s been one of those things I’ve been able to sustain from back in the day until now.”