Amoeblog

Abner Jay, One Man Band and Unsung Hero

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 1, 2011 07:17am | Post a Comment

by Kaitlin

"Seeing and hearing is believing, folks, how great thou art Abner Jay sings and plays. He once was a low down dirty blues singer, heavy on drugs and liquor.  He performed with such greats as Lil Richard, Otis Redding, James Brown and many others. One man band."

"St. James Infirmary Blues"

 

true story of abner jay
 

I very recently heard Abner Jay's music for the first time, and I've fallen in love with his deep voice, folky-blues-ey style and in-between-song spoken word stories and jokes. It's really a bare-bones, original and unique sound that reminds me of so many others I love, from Bob Dylan to Son House. The information that most of us seem to know comes straight from the horse's mouth via pamphlets (such as the quote above) and short biographies that he hand wrote and passed out at his performances, and it seems an lesser known legend has been out there all along.

"Cocaine"
 

The basics we know are: Abner was born in Fitzgerald, Georgia in 1921. Since his grandfather and father were both slaves, he was also a slave. His Grandfather gave him his own banjo and learned Abner how to play at an early age. He began performing in Medicine Shows at the age of five. At the age of 11, he joined the Silas Green Ministrels. He was in World War II and by age 25 he led the WMAZ Ministrels on Macon radio from 1946-1956. After this time, he began a solo career, traveling the south in a converted mobile home that opened up into a portable stage, complete with a small PA system and home furnishings. He traveled the southern United States as a one man band, earning a living by performing field songs, Pentecostal hymns and minstrel tunes as well as original material, with themes consisting of Vietnam, drug addiction, depression, sex and lust among others, intermixed with parts of spoken word and jokes. He sold vinyl records and cassettes that he self published on his own label, Brandie Records. These original pressings are sought after and quite rare. More recently, Mississippi Records, a Portland, Oregon based record label specializing in American roots music and blues archiving, has re-released some of Abner's recordings and releases, complete with reproductions of some of the handwritten pamphlets and biographies he distributed, including True Story of Abner Jay and Last Ole Ministrel Man, both of which I have purchased from Amoeba SF.   
 
I think the best way to share the joy of Abner Jay is to let him speak for himself. Here are some more quotes to share the wonder that is Abner Jay.

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Social Distortion Listening Party This Saturday

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 6, 2011 06:02pm | Post a Comment
social distortion listening party

More details here!

Best Live Shows of 2010 by Kaitlin

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 31, 2010 11:05am | Post a Comment

I am a photographer, but these aren't necessarily my best photos ever. They are, however, photos from most of my favorite shows of 2010, in chronological order:

melvins

1/2/10 An Evening with the Melvins at the Great American Music Hall

I don't like to be late to shows, but I think I had to work this night, so I walked into the Great American Music Hall during the second song of the set. The show began with just Buzzo and Dale on stage. I brought my one of my brothers to the show, and it was his first time seeing the Melvins. We grew up listening to a lot of Beatles and both LOVE them, so when the band played "Let Me Roll It" by Paul McCartney, I kinda lost my shit. It was an amazing beginning to a rad show. Love those Melvins!

frank fairfield

 brendan benson

2/11/10 Brendan Benson supported by Frank Fairfield at the Independent

I love Brendan Benson and saw him twice this year but this show was extra awesome because I got to see Frank Fairfield. He plays old timey country/bluegrass music and he blew me away. I also grew up listening to Bob Wills, the Carter Family, Johnny Cash, among others. I was pleased when Frank played at Amoeba Music later this year to support Terry Zwigoff's DVD signing.  

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2010 Instore Favorites by Kaitlin

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 23, 2010 09:27am | Post a Comment

2010 In-store Favorites:

This year in San Francisco, Amoeba Music was host to 48 live music performances! Here are some of my favorite photos that I edited for Amoeba.com's "In-store photos" section. While I did not take all of these images, I had the pleasure of editing them and they are some of the most fun photos I've edited this year.

TsuShiMaMiRe

This Japanese female rock trio was loud and got the crowd into it.


Die Antwoord

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Best of 2010 by Rob

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 22, 2010 09:25am | Post a Comment
Best of 2010. Ugly side up. No particular order.

slices cruising



















1. Slices - Cruising LP (Iron Lung)

A tortured hulk of a record. Both sides fool you into thinking there’s something Fucked Up styled on deck, just to swerve into the guardrail seconds after initial takeoff. Art damaged agro-sPunk that’ll give Dry Rot or Sex Vid a run for the money in the "New Hardcore for Haters" competition. There’s the drunken metallic sway of Blut Aus Nord. The pummeling thug-jazz of Unsane. The recent Pennsylvania noise-rock shuffle. A blaring tension release full of guitar squalor that more than occasionally comes off like a chorus of strangled geese. Instrumentation sputters and flails as someone – something - barks obscenities at you. Your new scene-cleaners. A thinking man's mess.

eclipse of 1453 daily void

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