Sunday 13 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 · English singer/songwriter Bobby...

English singer/songwriter Bobby Long sticks it out in America

Chris Parker December 3rd, 2009

While success is a long, hard slough for some, others find it charges like lighting. English singer/songwriter Bobby Long was finishing his final collegiate year studying film and sound when "Tw...


While success is a long, hard slough for some, others find it charges like lighting. English singer/songwriter Bobby Long was finishing his final collegiate year studying film and sound when "Twilight" struck.


Long had nurtured a friendship with a trio of London performers " Sam Bradley, Marcus Foster and Rob Pattinson " after meeting them at London-area open-mic nights. When Pattinson performed a song written by Foster and Long, "Let Me Sign," in the 2008 vampire movie sensation, their careers took off, along with Bradley's, who co-wrote another soundtrack song, "Never Think," with Pattinson.

Long said he's been astounded by the sudden fame.

 "They're my best friends," he said, awed by the transformation their lives have undergone. "It's plenty more weird for them, though, than it is for me, because they've all grown up with each other from a young age. But it is weird."

Long wasn't particularly aware of either the "Twilight" book series or the original film. He didn't even remember Pattinson was in the process of shooting it when a lawyer called to secure the rights to the song for the movie. Almost immediately, Long was talking to lawyers several times a day.

"It quickly transformed from being weird to just 'Let's get this fucking thing made,'" Long said. "It got weirder after that because it went from somebody hearing a song in the film, to support groups popping up on the Internet. That was really bizarre, because I never expected anything like that."

Inspired by Elliott Smith and older folk artists like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, Long's sinewy baritone blends Americana and soul-pop with earnest ache. He's a relative newcomer to performing, having only picked up the guitar six years ago, after giving up his main interest of soccer.

Although his parents both play music, and it was always on in his childhood, he describes himself as an "all or nothing" fellow, so it wasn't until he was 17 that he found time for it. When he finally did, he was immediately consumed, and now he writes songs every day, and goes so far as to suggest that he lives to make music.

Even in college, music took the front seat. Long played shows every week to a handful of people, honing his chops, and neglecting his studies. Things really came to a head when "Twilight" took off, offering him a once-in-a-lifetime chance he quickly seized. Despite having yet to record an album, he quickly set off for the United States in to maintain the momentum.

Unfortunately, the singer/songwriter could only sandwich a two-week American tour around his school break, and when he returned, it was to write a senior thesis on American folk and protest music, and take exams.

"I ended up writing 8,000 words in a week. It's one of the worst, most stressful weeks of my whole life," Long said. "Especially because I didn't tell anyone at the university about my involvement in the film. They were all talking about it, and didn't know I was involved, so I decided to keep it quiet."

Long won't be home for graduation " he's too busy touring in the United States, especially now as the "Twilight" follow-up "New Moon" opened in theaters two weekends ago " so his dad will pick up his diploma.

"I feel very lucky, and it's why I've been out touring for the last five months," Long said. "It was a concern because I'm not releasing (my debut) until next summer, that the emphasis might move off me with the next film coming out, but that hasn't happened at all, and people have really stuck with it."

He took a week off between tours this fall and entered the studio to record five tracks with producer Liam Watson (The White Stripes). He intends to record another nine songs in January, giving him several to choose from when assembling his debut, slated for release next year. While he cut all the tracks with a full band, Long intends to have a few tracks more representative of the solo acoustic style of his live shows.

Meanwhile, Long is touring with a 10-song collection of rough tracks and demos titled "Dirty Pond Songs" to sell at stops, and he confided that he's on the verge of signing a record deal, after months of baited-breath label pursuit. All because of a little song in a movie.

"It's kind of a weird situation, because as much as I appreciate it, I know very little about the film, and my involvement was extremely minor in it, in terms of you think of all the people that acted in it, held cameras and put tape on the floor to stop people from tripping over wires," he said. "My part in it was really, really small, so it's very surprising, but it's nice that people like the song and everything."

Bobby Long with Ali Harter and Colin Ingersol perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday at The Conservatory, 8911 N. Western. "Chris Parker

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