Abney, John Calvin
Far Cries And Close Calls
ulsa, Oklahoma-based songwriter John Calvin Abney has had a busy few years. In the past two and a half years, he has played over 400 shows, driven over 100,000 miles, released his critically acclaimed debut album Better Luck and two EPs - Empty Candles and Vice Versa Suite - along with performing as a sideman for acts like Samantha Crain, John Moreland, and The Damn Quails. By the end of 2015, he was tired. By December of 2015, he had an album's worth of songs ready to record and he headed into the studio, but fate had different plans. "It all fell apart. It's not that the musicians were bad. It didn't feel right. I felt pressure. The music felt stale. There was something missing in the studio. There was a sense of comfort and guidance that for some reason I couldn't access." Following his intuition, Abney cancelled the sessions. "I left in the middle of the recording session and went to Colorado at the beginning of January. I took all my 4 track recording gear to the mountain and I was going to record the record by myself up there. But I didn't record a single note. I actually ended up writing 20 new songs." Two months later, Abney took another crack at his sophomore album. This time, he hit a home run. "Everyone was just miraculously free for three days. And so we recorded those days and it was just magic. When I came off the mountain, I had new songs, new perspective, and a whole new view on things. We finished the whole record in three days. It's kind of cosmic how it turned out. It felt like a second chance."