John Calvin Abney – Norman Music Festival

John Calvin Abney
Existing between the fringes of incendiary rock ‘n roll and delicate folk-country, singer-songerwriter, John Calvin Abney, who will be performing a free show at the Norman Music Festival, speaks with me in this performer question and answer session. John Calvin Abney will perform at the Fowler Honda Depot Stage on Saturday, April 25 at 3:30 PM. Since this is the eighth year for the festival, here are eight questions to get to know him.

1. For those unfamiliar, how would you describe yourself and your music?
My music is rock and roll, heavily inflected with American folk and country. I also have a love affair with artists that have a tough time being nailed down, such as Elliott Smith and Nick Drake.

2. What song would you like a person who hasn’t heard your music listen to first?
I would say listen to “Sirens” on my record Better Luck, but I would say hold on or time travel, as, I am currently finding out more about my songs and style, so check out future music.

3. What’s your song writing process?
“Some songs come easy, some songs take some work. It’s always a journey, and more often than not, arduous but rewarding.”The process is rather chaotic and each session is never the same. My writing space typically looks like a physics professor’s office: papers everywhere, things sketched on walls, hundreds of notebooks, and sometimes, not an instrument in sight. Some songs come easy, some songs take some work. It’s always a journey, and more often than not, arduous but rewarding.

4. What are your thoughts on the Norman Music Festival?
This will be my 4th Norman Music Festival. I am extremely pleased with the tenaciousness, the graciousness, and the countless hours the folks work in Norman in order to put on a free festival for the metro and the town. It’s not only a chance for the town to explore different kinds of art and music, but for performers to connect and enjoy the experience together. Sometimes, you feel like folks give a damn about songs still.

5. In general, what inspires you?
Space and time inspire me. Science fiction, poetry, and song all contribute to my interests and lyrical ideas. Movie scores, video game scores, and found sounds. Heartbreak and bummer happenings are what I typically write about.

6. You’ve just been offered an all expenses paid trip. Where would you go?
Right now? International Space Station, or Japan.

7. Any plans while you’re in the area?
Rock and roll, dancing, and seeing a few pals from out of town.

The eighth Norman Music Festival is from April 23-25, 2015. Read more interviews from performers in the festival, present and past, here.

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Dennis Spielman

I'm Dennis Spielman, the Owner and Producer of Uncovering Oklahoma. In short, I’m a creative person that writes imaginative stories for books, movies, and shows. More about my projects are at

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