Making music comes naturally to Oklahoma City brothers Sam and Ray Ashford, who made it official by s
tarting a band together in 2009. With big choruses and mellow verses, Oxford Town has been described as garage blues with a hint of grudge.
A reflection of their shared musical taste, their band name is taken from the title of a Bob Dylan classic. The brothers are inspired by not only Dylan, but Tom Petty, Lou Reed, The Beatles, Nirvana, Counting Crows, The Strokes and The White Stripes.
Sam Ashford, 20, who sings lead and plays guitar, is a student at ACM@ UCO. Ray Ashford, 16, who plays the drums and sings vocals, attends Edmond Memorial High School.
The sibs have written around 45 songs, splitting the work of writing music and lyrics equally. The pair has no problem collaborating in order to produce originals that work. (Their current EP, Between Your World and Mine, wa
s released on iTunes last fall.)
With only two band members, they’re careful to write and record tracks that are easy for them to replicate for live audiences.
“We have to both be really on the ball when we’re playing live,” said Sam Ashford, “because if one of us makes a mistake, it really shows.”
Example: While playing a show at Paseo Underground, one of Ray’s drumsticks broke. He had to use his hand to drum until he could make a quick run for a backup.
The Ashfords hope to form a career doing what they love, which is something they’ve been doing for a long time. Ray even saved $250 at age 6 to buy his first guitar, on which he strummed the songs of Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison while standing atop his parents’ coffee table.
“I think that we have music that people really enjoy, and it’s important to us to just share that,” said Sam Ashford.
Oxford Town can be heard around town at such venues as Jazmo’z Bourbon Street Cafe, Nonna’s Purple Bar, The Shack, UCO Jazz Lab and various arts festivals.