Just 10 minutes. That’s all the time singer/songwriter Bill Abernathy needed to complete the task he was working on at the office. He had just received the call from the hospital informing him that his dad had taken a turn for the worse, and is not expected to live much longer. He figured it would take another 10 minutes to compete what he was working on, then he would be off to be by his dad’s side. When he arrived at the hospital, he found that he missed his dad’s passing by just 5 minutes.
“I think that everybody has this vision of how they would like to spend their last moments with people they love,” Bill said. “Mine was clearly being able to sit with my dad, hold his hand and tell him I loved him one more time and just watch as the lights of this world go away and the lights of the next come on. I didn’t get that chance, and it was because I had prioritized my time poorly. I had lost that balance.”
That defining moment in Bill’s life would become the theme for his latest album, Find A Way. “The real theme of the album is based on something that my dad taught me,” he said. “His comment was always that if you want something bad enough in life and you’re willing to put in the blood, sweat, tears and toil, you could always find a way to make that happen.” The album cover artwork he commissioned with artist Damijan Fric, depicts the great chasm that exists for many of us in life, between the demands of work life and the things we cherish in life. Yet the message of hope inspired by his dad resounds clearly in the title song – that it is indeed possible to find a way.
Bill grew up in a musical family, so putting thoughts and feelings into song isn’t too difficult for him. He grew up hanging out with his older brother and associated musician friends, listening to the likes of Peter, Paul and Mary and others. It would be Dan Fogelberg‘s 1972 album Home Free that would inspire him to pick up the guitar and learn how to play. “I learned how to play that album from start to finish,” Bill recently told KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste in an interview.
Bill also loves guitars, and has amassed quite the collection over the years, including a rather unique 9 string guitar. Recently, Bill talked with Forste via Skype. They discussed his unique guitar collection, as well as Find A Way and the story behind it’s songs. They talked at length about the struggle most musicians deal with between their musical passion and work life demands, and how he has managed to find his own way.
Listen to the interview here:
Download the interview here: Interview: Bill Abernathy 11/18/2016
Music by Bill Abernathy on KC Cafe Radio:
While it may seem inevitable that every musician eventually puts out a Christmas album, it took Kerry Patrick Clark more than 30 years to finally get to his. In part, it’s because he didn’t want to merely record variations of the same traditional songs. Instead, he had to let time do what time does best—cultivate life experiences, deepen relationships, hone talent and develop courage.
These are just some of the things Kerry needed in order to create an album that reflects his own experience of Christmas, which is far more than merely exulting the joy and glory of the season. “I believe in Christmas and what it stands for—peace, grace, an experience of the sacred—but that doesn’t mean I’m not also cynical, sad, frustrated, angry and intolerant. Every time I heard a new Christmas album I thought, ‘why isn’t there one that addresses the challenges of the season or tells the birth story in maybe a more profound way?’ So I decided to do that. Combine the Christian and the secular, the cynical and the sacred.”
The result is Kerry’s latest album, The Heart of Christmas, which is available now here. Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Kerry via Skype. They reminisce about the traditions of Christmas music, the way in which this album embraces, yet differs from those traditions, and the challenging process of producing an album that was 30 years in the making.
Listen to the interview here:
Download the interview here: Interview: Kerry Patrick Clark, 11/22/16
Music by Kerry Patrick Clark on KC Cafe Radio:
You could hit the Top 40, as Ed Sheeran did.
A big-name recording artist could cover one of your songs, like when country superstar Dierks Bentley made Travis Meadows‘ song “Riser” the title track of his last album.
For Americana singer-songwriter Lauren Adams, it was when she met a fan who had tattoo’ed a line from one of her songs onto her foot. “I’ve shared the stage with some pretty big names and even had my song in a major motion picture but this girl’s foot is easily the most satisfying milestone of my career,” she said with a chuckle.
That kind of audience appreciation is what keeps an artist going in the absence of big-time success. From her first guitar lesson as a Florida teenager to her arrival in Los Angeles to her new album, Somewhere Else, Adam’s has always kept going.
Adams’ musical journey began on the stage of the world-famous Troubadour in West Los Angeles with a performance that was so tentative, she was completely caught off guard by the waves of applause. “The response was so positive,” she said, “that I realized, ‘Hey, I could actually do this.’” That was summer of 1978, when the club still hosted its open-mic “Hoot Night,” where songwriters could get up and play a few.
Since that time, Adams has opened shows for Leon Russell in Fort Lauderdale and for Rita Coolidge in Southern California; Gigged regularly (some would say “relentlessly”) at clubs and festivals across California, Texas, Colorado, and in Nashville, Tennessee; Released three albums of her own songs; Had her song “Thirsty” featured in the Lion’s Gate film Peaceful Warrior (starring Nick Nolte); And she has hosted LA’s longest-running Americana music event, the Americana Song Circle for 10 years.
On her newest album, Somewhere Else, Adams delivers quality songwriting in the Carol King/Eagles/Lucinda Williams vein: deep Americana roots and vivid storytelling delivered by a group of tasteful, compassionate players including her producer and friend Nick Kirgo (Nels Kilne of Wilco, JD Souther, Vonda Shepard, Pocket Goldberg and Dave Fraser).
Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Adams via Skype. They talked about growing up with music in her life, brushing with greatness at the Trroubadour, and the uniquely rewarding connection she has been afforded between her life and her songs.
Listen to the interview here:
Download the interview here: Interview: Lauren Adams
Music by Lauren Adams on KC Cafe Radio: