Sweet charity 

It took but one quick trip home for the guilt racket front man Bobby Reed to realize he wasn’t living right.

“My dad, he always did a lot of charity work, the entire time I was growing up and even still. I went home for Christmas about a year ago, and he asked what community service work I was doing, and I said, ‘None.’ He was like, ‘What the hell is wrong with you?’” Reed said. “I thought about it, and realized that with music, I could support the community a little bit.” 

The Oklahoma City-based rock outfit has made an aggressive push for charity ever since that holiday season, arranging big benefit shows with other local bands, winning new fans and raising thousands in the process. It’s more than Reed ever imagined would happen when he formed the group with vocalist/keyboardist Ethan Larsh and bassist Travis Brazeal. the guilt racket plays its first-anniversary show this Saturday at VZD’s.

“The only thing I thought we could manage in a year was an album and a steady fan base in Oklahoma City,” Reed said. “We’re seeing so much more than that.”

Call it good karma, but the charity work must be scoring points with the big guy upstairs, as the act already haswon the advice of a veteran A&R exec and recently played a California music festival with the likes of Panic! At the Disco and The Bravery.

I realized that with music, I could support the community a little bit.
—Bobby Reed

the racket takes a purposefully scattered approach to crafting its music, recalling anything from Modest Mouse to Built to Spill to The Band.

“It’s an eclectic spirit. We have a desire to not be one thing. We want to be all things,” Reed said. “There’s a multiplicity that we all want that let us know we could invest in each other.”

More so is an admiration for their forthcoming debut EP.

“Everything is polished to an almost meticulously annoying level,” Reed said with a laugh.

the guilt racket hopes its second year will bring another release, preferably a full-length album. In the meantime, plans for music videos are being made, as well as the continued charitable support of the March of Dimes and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with annual benefit concerts. Hopefully, that good karma keeps on coming.

“We want to make this work,” Reed said. “We want to spread our music, create art and not have to move on to those perilous adult things.”

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Joshua Boydston

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