Abby Dobson

Abby Dobson

 Freeport, New York, USA
BandR&BSoul

Heart Music. The alchemy of soul, folk, jazz, blues, gospel, R&B, country and pop. Emotional songwriting that is as soothing as it is soulful. Across between Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, Tracy Chapman, Lizz Wright, Patty Griffin and Alanis Morrisette.

Biography

For lovers of purposed and conceptual soul music aching for a fresh talent they can wrap their hearts and minds around, Abby Dobson is the answer they have been waiting on. The singer-songwriter’s offerings are fathoms deep celebrations of saturation over surface – deeply penetrating works of lyrical introspection, soul-plumbing vocal explorations and instrumental accompaniment drenched in moods of midnight. The lady draws heavily from the spectrum of music, swirling jazz, reggae, soul, country, gospel, classical, folk and blues into rich aural portraiture that speaks eloquently to the spirit. For women especially, hers is a voice that echoes pleasures and pains with both a resonance for the ages and insights beyond her years. Literate, passionate and defiant of category, Abby Dobson is an all-natural original whose dedication, patience and focus on her figurative sparrow are about to surrender to her the most fabulous of happy endings.

Depending on your perspective, Abby Dobson’s spellbinding debut either took three years to record, mix and master, was 10-years-in-the-making artistically, or is the culmination of one Black woman’s life lessons on love – love of a man and, ultimately, love of self. Titled Sleeping Beauty: You Are the One You Have Been Waiting On, this 2010 CD is what brothers and sisters call a “concept album,” much like Marvin Gaye’s timeless statement What’s Going On (1971) or Anita Baker’s jazz-kissed Compositions (1990). That means it is not a mere random collection of songs but an impeccably sequenced cycle of musical ruminations. They put the listener in a Zen state trance, turning them inward and provoking them to “go there” as Abby leads them through a maze of emotions with the promise of sweet rebirth at the end. It is a strikingly personal project that Dobson has been chiseling as if her life depended on it.

“Everyone is born with a purpose,” Abby states. “Through the course of life, we all have to find that purpose then fight like mad to live within it. My album is a call for people to wake up and make their dreams come true. Don’t depend on others to define or color what that dream is for you. YOU are the one you’ve been waiting for. My purpose is the honor of being a musician and vocal artist, writing and sharing music that touches people, and making an inspiring difference on my journey toward discovery.”

To bring this concept to life, Abby drew an artfully singular connection between the ageless fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty” and Pulitzer Prize-wining authoress Alice Walker’s uplifting “We Are the One’s We Have Been Waiting For: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness.” Following the instrumental introduction “Cool Rain (A Prelude for Horns)” - dripping with atmosphere - Abby opens the album with the reggae blues “I’m Drownin’” which sets the thematic thread into motion of a woman torn. “Don’t want to be alone, you’re all I know / My lover, best friend, don’t know where we end and I begin…” Over 13 pieces in total, Abby walks with you through five distinct stages of this woman’s drama-filled journey – stages she dubs individually as moods and collectively as “volumood one” that are an emotional rollercoaster.

Along the way, listeners are baptized in Abby’s torrential vocal and lyrical waters with evocative titles such as “Didn’t Know You’d Be The One” (a hip-syncopated song awash in pedal steel guitar), “Still Alive” (a dreamy soul groove that grows up into a poplar of defiant survival), “Unconditionally” (a reflective piano and voice-only paean featuring Grammy-nominated Blue Note recording artist Robert Glasper), “Born 2 Luv U” (set to a lush string backdrop punctuated with a heavy backbeat), “Deeply” (a sexy soul song of longing that echoes a familiar Bill Withers refrain) and “No More Happily Ever After” (which marks a sharp drop down into icy isolation scored by stinging acoustic guitar). Reclamation and affirmation triumphantly follow with the closing numbers “Not This Girl,” “Be Free,” “(In the) Castle of My Skin” and “Sleeping Beauty (Go Make the World You Dream),” making Abby’s debut the kind of album one can return to again and again for both its musical excellence, its emotional empathy and its ultimately uplifting lyrical revelations.

Aiming for the authenticity of old, Abby recorded her album on analog tape in haunted New York recording studios, bringing in fine players of kindred spirit from the new renaissance of “music beyond category” such as keyboardist Raymond Angry (The Roots), bassist Nate Jones (Estelle) and Lonnie Plaxico (Cassandra Wilson), guitarist Marvin Sewell (Cassandra Wilson and Lizz Wright), percussionist Daniel Sadownick (Michael Brecker and Nicholas Payton), drummer Skoota Warner (Santana), trumpeter Maurice Brown (Vieux Farka Toure’) and tenor saxophonist Teodross Avery (Amy Winehouse), among many others.

The idea of a song cycle based on “Sleeping Beauty” had been marinating in Abby’s mind since 2004 and was spawned by a fier

Lyrics

Born 2 Luv U

Written By: Abby Dobson & Teddy Crockett


VERSE 1:

BABY WHEN YOU LOOK AT ME
I SEE ONLY LOVE IN YOUR EYES
AS DEEP AS I CAN FEEL
YOU COULD BE THE ONE I GIVE MY PRIZE

OH BABY WHEN YOU SPEAK TO ME
SO GENTLY LOVING HONESTLY
NEVER EVER DISRESPECTING ME
YOU REACH ME WITH YOU MIND

VERSE 2:

BABY WHEN YOU HOLD ME CLOSE
YOUR ARMS WHISPER I WONT LET YOU GO
FINALLY LOVE IS ON MY SIDE
AND I’LL NEVER WANT FOR ME

OH BABY WHEN YOU KISS ME
SO TENDER SWEETLY SLOWLY
ALWAYS FOREVER’S WHAT U PROMISE ME
YOU MAKE ME WANNA FLY

PRE-CHORUS:

AMONG OTHER THINGS YOU SAY WHAT YOU MEAN
MY PROMISE KEEPER DREAMMAKER FOR REAL
NEVER OUT OF LINE AND ALWAYS ON TIME
YOU MAKE LOVIN YOU SO EASY OH MY
I’M NOT ASHAMED TO SHOW MY STRENGTH WHEN YOU’RE AROUND
YOU HOLD ME STRONG BABY, YOU HOLD IT DOWN
ALWAYS YOU’RE SHOULDER I…CAN CRY ON…….
HAD TO LET GO TO KNOW THIS SWEETER LOVE

CHORUS:

SEEMS I WAS BORN TO LOVE
IT’S WRITTEN SOMEWHERE IN THE STARS
WHEN I’M WITH YOU MY SOUL FLYS HIGHER
AND BABY I HOPE YOU’RE THE ONE
SEEMS I WAS BORN TO LOVE YOU
IT’S WRITTEN SOMEWHERE IN THE STARS
WHEN I’M WITH YOU MY SOUL SHINES BRIGHTER
AND BABY I THINK YOU’RE THE ONE

REPEAT VERSE 1 & 2 (FREE FORM):

BABY WHEN YOU LOOK AT ME, YEAH
AD DEEP AS I CAN FEEL, YEAH
OB BABY WHEN YOU HOLD ME YEAH EYAH
YOU MAKE ME ….WANNA SING

BABY WHEN YOU HOLD ME CLOSE
NEVER/ LET….ME GO
OH BABY WHEN YOU KISS ME
SO TENDER SO SWEET BABY…BABY

PRE-CHORUS:

AMONG OTHER THINGS YOU SAY WHAT YOU MEAN
MY PROMISE KEEPER DREAMMAKER FOR REAL
NEVER OUT OF LINE AND ALWAYS ON TIME
YOU MAKE LOVIN YOU SO EASY OH MY
I’M NOT ASHAMED TO SHOW MY STRENGTH WHEN YOU’RE AROUND
YOU HOLD ME STRONG BABY, YOU HOLD IT DOWN
ALWAYS YOU’RE SHOULDER I…CAN CRY ON…….
HAD TO LET GO TO KNOW THIS SWEETER LOVE

CHORUS:

SEEMS I WAS BORN TO LOVE
IT’S WRITTEN SOMEWHERE IN THE STARS
WHEN I’M WITH YOU MY SOUL FLYS HIGHER
AND BABY I HOPE YOU’RE THE ONE

SEEMS I WAS BORN TO LOVE YOU
IT’S WRITTEN SOMEWHERE IN THE STARS
WHEN I’M WITH YOU MY SOUL SHINES BRIGHTER
AND BABY I THINK YOU’RE THE ONE

REPEAT CHORUS (2 x)

VAMP:
BORN TO LOVE YOU, BORN TO LOVE YOU

BORN TO LOVE YOU, BORN TO LOVE YOU
BORN TO LOVE YOU OO OO, BORN TO LOVE OVE YOU

Deeply

Written By: Abby Dobson, Stephanie Salzman & Mattias Gustaffson

INTRO:

Ah ha

I know, U Know, I know, U Know

Deeply Baby

VERSE:

I LEAVE YOUR BED IN SEARCH OF SOME CONTROL
YOU TRY TO GET ME TALKING/ I REACH FOR THE DOOR
SO OPEN IS HOW YOU MAKE ME
SCARES ME, THRILLS ME, GETS TO ME

CHORUS:

DEEPLY BABY (AH HA)
AS DEEP AS DEEP CAN GO
DEEPLY BABY (I KNOW YOU KNOW I KNOW U KNOW)
I KNOW
DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN
(DEEPLY BABY)
TO THE DIAMOND IN MY SOUL

VERSE:

YOU ARE LIKE A MOUNTAIN
AND I AM THE WIND
NO MATTER HOW HARD I PUSH/YOU PULL ME IN
WHAT’S THE USE OF FLYIN FROM THE TRUTH
IT’S DESTINY THAT I’VE FOUND YOU

CHORUS:

DEEPLY BABY (AH HA)
AS DEEP AS DEEP CAN GO
DEEPLY BABY (I KNOW YOU KNOW I KNOW U KNOW)
I KNOW
DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN
(DEEPLY BABY)
TO THE DIAMOND IN MY SOUL

BRIDGE:

I’VE FOUND SOMETHING DIVINE
A LIGHT FOR ALL TIME
UNDENIABLY MINE

REPEAT BRIDGE:

I’VE FOUND SOMETHING DIVINE
A LIGHT FOR ALL TIME
UNDENIABLY MINE

Sleeping Beauty

Written By: Abby Dobson & Wes Mingus

Hey Little girl time to quit watching the world go by
Your front window open you door step off that curbside
No more complaining no more comfort zoning wasting time
No more weeping wondering waiting for your life to start

Dreams dressed in fear wont dance and
Time stands still for no man

Hey little girl I know that life’s really hard sometimes
Your hearts been trampled on but I still see the fight in your eyes
No more fearing no more second guessing holding back
No more waiting for someone else to give you what you lack

Dreams dressed in fear wont dance and
Time stands still for no man

Sleeping beauty, wake wake and see
New day dawning, Sleeping Beauty
Go make the world you dream

Hey little girl let go and know it’s your time to shine
Wake up go to the well know that all you need is deep in side
No more hesitating, time for restoration’s now
You are the one that have always been waiting on

Dreams dressed in fear wont dance and
Time stands still for no man

Sleeping beauty, wake wake and see
New day dawning, Sleeping Beauty
Go make the world you dream

Discography

Sleeping Beauty: You Are the One You Have Been Waiting On - November 2010
Soul Stories EP - 2003
The Rooftop - 2006

Set List

45 minutes

Didn't Know You'd Be The One
Not This Girl
New Man
Deeply
Fly
Forgive Me
Unconditionally
The Prize
Wasteland
How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore (Prince Cover)