Prior to cultivating a legendary folk artist, and the 21st century's most accessible tripsters, the city, a scant 30 minutes from downtown Oklahoma City, was a refuge for several Native American tribes after the Civil War.
Sac, Fox and Potawatomi Indians tread Oklahoma's port silt loam and sought to create new lives on government deeded land. That same dense soil of weathered ochre has also been trod by Crain (whose heritage is Choctaw). On "Kid Face," Crain's latest release, her ether-driven sound fuses sorghum-sweet melodies, plucky backbeats and lyrical contemplations hinged on her personality and personal choices.
The track "Never Going Back" recounts a wince-inducing decision to leave the past behind with the goal of a brighter future. However difficult the sever, Crain's vowel-twisting delivery coats the bitterness with sticky optimism.
In contrast, the plaintive pedal-steel guitar that carries the backing sound of Crain's "Churchill" sounds like the soft cry of an adolescent whale. Under Crain's straightforward vocal style, for her linear delivery eludes any straight-forward melody, "Churchill" moseys with melancholy indicative of country music's past. With every song Crain creates souvenirs that demarcate intimate roots.
In one sense, "Kid Face" appears to be Crain's welcome split from her past. Recently engaged (to Oklahoma musician John Calvin) she peers into the future and waves goodbye to expired loves and lives. Crain sounds ready to explore new ways of living concentrated on the more pragmatic decisions marking adulthood. "Kid Face" might reference her youthful countenance, but there is nothing childlike about Crain's ascent into the future.
"Kid Face" will be released on February 19, 2013 on Ramseur Records.