Thomas Abban

Thomas Abban

It’s been over three years since I’ve written on The Passerby and the catalyst for me to get back in the saddle is this incredible new artist based in Minnesota – Thomas Abban.

Thank you, Andrea Swensson, for introducing us to this amazing young artist on the Current’s Local Show!

Abban is somewhat of a prodigy. His first album, A Sheik’s Legacy, released in July of this year, makes this evident through his truly unique compositions and the fact that he produced the album himself and played all (I believe) the instruments. His songs span many genres with sounds that range from stripped-down folk to epic rock compositions.

Biographical information is somewhat sparse on Abban and this seems to add to his mystical nature and the spectacle of his live shows.

Watch a live performance of “Blackwater” below and comment with your thoughts. I highly recommend listening to the entire album on Spotify.

Abban will be performing at Aster Cafe this Friday if you want to experience one of his live performances for yourself.

 

Frankie Lee – Ophelia

Frankie Lee

Local Minneapolis artist, Frankie Lee, will be performing tonight at The Ice House if you’re looking for a good show!

I heard Lee’s song Country recently on The Current and his simple, Americana Folk style caught my attention immediately. His album Middle West came out today and I feel this quote from his site provides a window into the record:

“YOU’RE INVITED TO RIDE ALONG THROUGH MIDDLE WEST ON A DREAM 
BED OF FOLK AND AMERICANA SOUNDS .  I FOUND THESE SONGS ON 
THE ROAD GOIN WEST TO CALIFORNIA.  WHEN I CAME BACK TO MINNESOTA
I MET A BUNCH OF CHARACTERS WHO HELPED ME PUT DOWN WHAT I’D 
BEEN HEARING IN MY HEAD.

WE RECORDED THESE SONGS LIVE (LOOKING AT EACH OTHER) IN A WAREHOUSE
 WITH A BUNCH OF REALLY WARM SWEATERS ON.  IT ONLY TOOK 2 NIGHTS 
TO MAKE AND 1 YEAR TO PUT IT OUT.  THE PEOPLE ARE RIGHT…
THE INTERNET IS GONNA SAVE MUSIC. HALLELUJAH!”

There isn’t much information about Frankie that I could find, but hopefully we’ll be hearing more about him now that his album has been released. At times, he reminds me of Ryan Adams, sometimes My Morning Jacket/Jim James, and at other times Bob Dylan.

The song below was recorded with the Real-Phonic Band and portrays a little bit bluesier side of Lee’s music.

For a very traditional country sound, you can also check out another local band, The Cactus Blossoms, at this show. Their music is reminiscent of Hank Williams and other patriarchs of the country and honky tonk genres. Especially the brothers’ honeyed harmonies, the twangy lap steel, lively fiddle and two beat rhythm.

Southwire – Live on The Current

Southwire, from Duluth, MN consists of Jerree Small, Ben Larson, Matt Mobley and Sean Elmquist. They performed three songs live on The Current’s Local Show the other day and The Current describes them well when they say the band has a “gorgeous blend of folk and heavy atmospherics.” If I had to categorize it I would say it’s folk with some old soul mixed in.

Jerree Small’s voice reminds me a little of Feist, especially on Gone Astray  and the band produces a soothing, ambient sound throughout all their music. If you listen to the live recording you’ll also hear them talk about their church and that Charlie Parr is also a part of it.

You can listen to the entire live session here.

If you like what you hear, Southwire will be performing at 7th Street Entry on Friday, April 19.