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Greetings from the highways and low roads of middle America,


Over the last few months I’ve released two new instrumental projects that I wanted to share with you.


February 3rd, 2023


This ephemeral exercise came into form as a compositional experiment in piano, tape manipulation, layered improvisation, and field recording. In February 2021, a catastrophic winter system enveloped Texas and all but disabled the electrical grid and infrastructure for weeks, sparking the initial inspiration and leading Abney to record weather patterns across northern hill country.Silence and isolation are juxtaposed with the busy nature of human travel and gathering, as desolate gales fade in and out of the places and structures where people move. In “The Places They Gather And Speak” parts I and II, Abney recorded the atmosphere of the departure and arrival areas of the Austin International Airport, as well as a calm day at Barton Springs recreational area before a storm, as an ambient canvas for his soft-pedal piano, a manipulated music box, and steel guitar played by ZDAN. The coming and going of the modern person, intimately tied to the temperamental shifts of weather and climate, vice versa, are also captured by the field recordings of Rebecca Sarkar, spanning from the rain-inundated hills of Shropshire, England to the tropic coastal showers of Jamaica. Without voice, without lyric, the tracks held herein are temporary, shifting in nature, and a reason to rest and hold fast at the port until the storm and stress passes.


The album visuals were conceived and skillfully executed by musician and painter Drew Carman (https://www.designcohort.com).



April 7th, 2023


My third instrumental record, exploring geography, weather, memory, and loss, was set upon the world on my birthday - Friday the seventh of April.


A collection of prepared piano and electric piano works focused on the dust, the lost, and the items that are forgettably strewn about our lives and spaces we inhabit. The junk drawer minutiae, the loose nails, batteries, sandpaper, cables, and coins, bolster the strings and wooden angles of the piano, forming a spacious awareness of what has disappeared into the corners of where we exist. A series of synth modules and digital delays transformed the sounds created by these ubiquitous items into a painting of households in motion and workplaces in transit.


The captivating, encompassing album art is “Luck Worn” by Ruth B. Loveland, a visual artist from Norman, Oklahoma (https://www.ruthloveland.com).



Both projects are available now, exclusively on Bandcamp. All proceeds go towards my upcoming vocal surgery and recovery.


Today I embark on my 3rd tour of 2023, playing guitars with Wild Child. I hope to see you somewhere along the way.


Thanks for listening,


John

Updated: Apr 11, 2023



The time for travel approaches swiftly once again, as talented songwriter and friend of the highway Lizzie No has assigned me to six-string guitar duties in the month of February, with Nelson Williams wielding the upright bass. As we roll through the coastal Pacific Northwest and the deserts down south, I urge you to attend and witness this acoustic trio in full form:


1/31 Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern

2/1 Portland, OR - Old Church

2/3 Berkeley, CA - Freight and Salvage

2/4 Mill Valley, CA - House Concert

2/5 Sacramento, CA - Harlow’s

2/9 Fullerton, CA - The Muck

2/10 Pioneertown, CA - Pappy and Harriets

2/11 Tucson, AZ - Hotel Congress

2/14 Phoenix, AZ - Last Exit Live

2/15 Costa Mesa, CA - Wayfarer Costa Mesa

2/16 San Diego, CA - Winston’s

2/17 Santa Monica, CA - Broadstage

2/18 San Pedro, CA - Grand Annex


From the rust belt to the pine belt, I’ll be accompanying my friend Margo Cilker on her journey through the Midwestern and southern states, opening for the great Drive By Truckers, plus some additional club dates upfront. My friends of the interstates and blue highways, these won’t be shows to miss. A joy to return with my guitar in tow.


3/7 Arlington Heights, IL - Hey Nonny

3/8 Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk

3/9 Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue

3/10 Detroit, MI - Saint Andrews Hall

3/11 Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater

3/12 Madison, WI - Barrymore Theatre

3/14 Iowa City, IA - Englert Theatre

3/15 Urbana, IL - Canopy Club

3/17 Louisville, KY - Old Forrester’s

3/18 St. Louis, MO - The Pageant

3/19 Fayetteville, AR - JJ’s Live

3/21 OKC, OK - The Jones Assembly

3/23 Dallas, TX - Granada Theater

3/24 Austin, TX - Paramount Theatre

3/25 New Orleans, LA - Joy Theater

3/26 Birmingham, AL - Iron City


As always, thank you for the support. See you out there!


John





I was lucky enough to work the entire year of 2022, traveling nearly seventy thousand miles on ground, air, and sea, clutching my lucky totems and carrying my guitar on my back. Played 160 unique shows as a solo artist and backing my friends across North America, 40 states, Australia, and New Zealand while bringing the songs of my album Tourist to metropolises and the small towns between. The experience was priceless, the company I kept matchless, and the sights stunning as ever.


Some of the most meaningful shows I ever performed and witnessed lived within this year.


Reaching your terminal destination after such a long journey should provide you with more words than necessary to paint the places witnessed, speak of the souls crossed, and play back the performances completed, but I am near speechless. Grateful for every single person who made it possible along the way, from bands and venues to old friends and new pals. As I drink coffee in the changing winter winds, I’d like to say:


“Tourist” is in your hands now.


Thank you, I love you, and I can’t wait to see you again.


So many things to come in the new year.


John

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