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Samantha Crain was raised in rural Shawnee, OK, a town whose remote location influenced her quirky, earthy interpretation of folk music. Although inspired by the sounds of her father's music collection, including Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead, an adolescent Crain took even greater solace in the music of her home state, from the rootsy Americana of Woody Guthrie to the sonic experiments of the Flaming Lips. She later enrolled at Oklahoma Baptist University, where she spent several semesters working toward a degree in English literature before registering for a semester-long songwriting retreat. Located off-campus at Martha's Vineyard, the program allowed Crain to transform herself into a songwriter with a knack for narrative storytelling. She then returned home, where unpaid student loans convinced her to pursue a career in music instead. Ramseur Records took note of Crain's work schedule, which saw her crisscrossing the country with guitar in tow, and ultimately offered her a spot on the label. The Confiscation, a mature EP featuring harmonica, tambourine, lap steel guitar, and Crain's unembellished vocals, marked her Ramseur debut in 2007.