Additional headlining tour dates announced
John Calvin Abney is set to return with his self-produced LP Safe Passage via Tulsa’s Black Mesa Records on September 27, 2019. It’s the follow-up to 2018’s Coyote, which Rolling Stone Country called “dreamy folk with a good balance of sadness and sunshine.” For the new record, Abney tapped an impressive set of musicians for his studio band: fellow Tulsa Americana artist John Moreland, Shonna Tucker (John Paul White, Drive-by Truckers), Will Johnson (Centro-matic, Monsters of Folk), violinist/vocalist Megan Palmer, David Leach (John Fullbright, Jason Eady), and drummer Bryan McGrath. Together they bring to life songs that tend to look for light in the face of tragedy, worry, or self-imposed struggle. Abney recently spoke to Billboard about how the meanings of the new songs changed drastically when his father unexpectedly passed away on the day he announced the forthcoming release of Safe Passage.
“For the longest time, I really thought this record was autobiographical,” Abney explains. “But since the stark reality of what has taken place recently, I’ve realized that these songs are as much about those around me, including the aspects of life that keep us all from wanting to make connections with others or live intentional lives: loneliness, addiction, fear, worry. My dad was really troubled by these things but optimistic to a fault. I believe he wanted the same for the world, for everyone to have safe passage from these struggles and now, these words mean something much deeper to me than they once did.”
Listen to “Maybe Happy”:
Abney is a songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist who has spent nearly 10 years in the studio and on the road in service to the songs of other writers, including John Moreland, Samantha Crain, and Lee Bains III + The Glory Fires. This vast musical experience has honed his sense of what is essential to songs, resulting in a peaceful balance between his apparent joy for making music and the ever-present emotions of his writing. He’s a lifelong student of composition and artistry whose influences and inspirations run vast and varied: Brian Wilson, Courtney Barnett, Nick and Molly Drake, Tulsa Sound pioneer J.J. Cale, Japanese pop godfather Haruomi Hosono, virtuosic guitarist Molly Tuttle, and even acclaimed video game music composers like Shogo Sakai and Yasunori Mitsuda. Abney is a keen observer and on Safe Passage he has developed his craft in a way that allows his sense of self to shine through.
Safe Passage is due out September 27, 2019 via Black Mesa Records and is available for pre-order now here.