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Behind the Wheel With Samantha Crain 

click to enlarge art10_music_sam_crain_200.jpg

Sure, this rootsy Choctaw singer and songwriter wails like a gutsier Jolie Holland with the storytelling finesse of a Southern great-grandmama on her latest twanger, “Songs In The Night.” But Samantha Crain's one heck of a multitasker too. We caught up with the 22-year-old lassie while she dodged cars on the highway and answered a few of our pressing questions.

On must-have music: “‘Sea Change’ by Beck. It's a good album to listen to if you are sad or happy.”

If she weren't playing music? “Uhg, I don't know. Maybe painting? But, I can't really paint.”

On touring and her all-boy band, the Midnight Shivers: “Touring with all guys? I'm pretty much used it now. I've picked up some of their older tendencies. … The worst and best part of touring is that you are in a different place every day.”

On worldly possessions [and a Richmond tie-in]: “I must have a tube of Chapstick. I apply that pretty religiously.”

Famous friends you should also hear? “Jessica Lee Mayfield. She's awesome. But her guitarist has the creepy moustache. You can write that because I've told him.”

Modern fiction or classics? “Older stuff. Modern literature is too influenced by pop culture and technology. Older stuff taps into human emotion a little better I think. I wrote ‘The River’ on my last EP in direct response to Flannery O'Connor's short story of the same name. I still read a lot, but I'm now looking for other influences besides literature.”

On Radiohead: “‘No Surprises.’ I love that intro.”

On dudes with hipster mustaches? “I hate them. It creeps me out. That's a trend that needs to be over really soon.”

Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers play at Mojo's, 733 W. Cary St., on March 12 with William Elliot Whitmore and Ben Weaver at 8 p.m. 644-6676.

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