Spotlight on Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers
Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2008
and the Midnight Shivers
Oklahoma musician is set to take North Carolina by storm
Sometimes music is a collision of opposites. Realities clash and coexist, and the tension that results is scary and strange, but undeniably beautiful.
Maybe that’s why Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers embody so many conflicting unities and clashing identities. With a blow-your-hair-back vocal presence that occasionally yields to whisper-soft vulnerability, Samantha Crain unites the sounds of confidence and desperation.
Traditional folk arrangements tremble beneath the tasteful drumming of Jacob Edwards, the heart-beating bass lines from Andrew Tanz. Lyrics about disaster and despair peacefully coexist with anthems of community and reconciliation. Here are darkness and light; here are life and death.
These colliding realities stem most notably from Crain’s unlikely artistic heritage, which she wears on her sleeve but just as readily transcends. Hailing from Oklahoma, the state that birthed both The Flaming Lips and Woody Guthrie, Crain writes with both the brazen conviction of the latter and the unflinching creative ambition of the former. Hers is a folk tradition indebted to Radiohead as much as Bob Dylan. Her shadowy arrangements and razor-sharp lyrics blur whatever superficial lines of genre or aesthetic may seem to separate these influences.
Nearly more remarkable than her creative vision is her practical ambition. At the young age of 21, Crain already has a booking agency, several national tours, and dozens of self-produced recordings to her credit. The band’s dynamic live performances are gathering a widespread community with every subsequent tour. They are uniting opposites, living deeply, and working fruitfully, with no signs of slowing down any time soon.
And now North Carolina can claim Crain as well. She recently signed on with the Concord label Ramseur Records, home of The Avett Brothers.
The current tour will be bringing Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers to a venue near you during the coming weeks:
June 7: 10:30 p.m., The Evening Muse, Charlotte;
June 11: 9:30 p.m., Local 506, Chapel Hill;
June 13: 9 p.m., The Garage, Winston-Salem.
Listen to songs from Samantha Crain’s soon-to-be released album “The Confiscation” at www.myspace.com/samanthacrain.