Musician Ben Rector draws inspiration from all the moments in between

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comApril 3, 2013 

Ben Rector performs April 5 at the Music Farm in Charleston.

  • IF YOU GO

    WHAT: Ben Rector

    WHEN: 7:30 p.m. April 5

    WHERE: Music Farm, 32 Ann St., Charleston

    ADMISSION: $15; $18 at the door

Oklahoma-born musician Ben Rector isn't in constant pursuit of life's big moments and thrills, choosing instead to revel in what many would consider the mundane.

It is the normal aspects of his life in which the soulful singer/songwriter says he found inspiration for his LP, "The Walking in Between," which is due out later this year.

"What I've realized is that life isn't about the mountaintops, or these huge, unattainable moments for me," said Rector, 26, who now lives in Nashville. "It's about 'the walking in between.' It's about getting to do what I love and getting to be around my wife, my friends and the people I love. That's the stuff we're all made for."

"The Walking in Between" will be Rector's first studio album since "Something Like This," which debuted at No. 4 on the iTunes charts in September 2011.

Rector said he understands why his fans come to see him live, and, as a result, they are unlikely to hear much of the newer material when he performs April 5 at the Music Farm in Charleston.

"When you come to a concert, it can sometimes be a hassle," Rector said. "You have to buy tickets, you have to park and you're out really late, so I doubt that people want to come to a show and hear us play all new stuff. My philosophy has always been, 'I know you came here to hear these songs, so here they are.'"

"We might do two or three newer songs, but I want to hold back most of the new stuff so it's new and exciting to people when the record comes out."

Rector discusses the making of "The Walking In Between," gaining exposure through television shows and commercials and his musical influences.

Question. How will "The Walking In Between" be different from "Something Like This?"

Answer. I don't know if I went in a different direction with this record but I think I've grown a lot as a writer and as a singer and as a player since I made that album. The songs I wrote for this record reflect that, I think. I wanted this record to feel more organic ... I want people, when they're listening to it, to feel like I'm 10 feet away from them, singing the songs to them in their living room.

Q. Did you take time off to write the album or were you writing the newer songs while you were on tour?

A. I've always found it really hard to write when I'm on the road so when I have time off, I like to try to use that time to write, which is something I've always really enjoyed.

Q. What will be the first single off the new album?

A. I'm honestly not sure. The album is being mastered, so once we get that behind us, we'll figure out what the single will be and when that will be released.

Q. Your music has been featured in television shows such as "Teen Mom," "Pretty Little Liars" and a promo for ABC's "Modern Family." How important has that exposure been to your career?

A. That stuff is a huge part of getting your music out there, so I've been really grateful for those opportunities, but I've gotten a lot of smaller placements and shows wanting to play small parts of songs. I have yet to land like a marquee placement or have my music used in a huge advertising campaign, but I like that it's been low-key. I think much more of my exposure has been about word-of-mouth, and people telling their friends about my music.

Q. What were your musical influences growing up?

A. My father managed an oldies radio station in Tulsa, but I was never into a lot of that music as a kid. I think it kind of seeped, though, into my subconscious and later affected the way I saw music. I find myself really influenced by The Beatles, James Taylor, Sam Cooke and stuff like that now. I love a lot of newer music too, but those were my earliest influences.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/IPBG_Patrick.

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