Abita Blues
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Abita Blues

Covington, Louisiana, United States | SELF

Covington, Louisiana, United States | SELF
Band Blues Singer/Songwriter

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"Fresh voices can get crack at the mic"

ryan Davidson of the Abita Blues Band thinks he's not the only songwriter who wants to try out new material in front of a live audience.

Davidson, who plays and writes for the Abita Blues Band, will host the first singer-songwriter open mic night on Dec. 16 at Sorelli's Brick Oven, 321 N. Columbia St. in Covington. It starts at 7 p.m. and people can contact him in advance or arrive a little early to sign up.

The gig is mainly for acoustic performances, singers with their guitars, "so we can transition easily from one person to another," he said.

But singer-songwriter night is not just for beginners or just songwriters. "It's for local songwriters, amateur to professional, to come in and talk about their songs, inspiration, writing process, and of course perform," he said. It's also for singers who want to perform in front of an audience.

Open mic nights attract seasoned musicians as well as fans, he said. Songwriting can require "playing in front of musicians who are there for the same reasons, who want to try out their music in front of a live audience."

"You don't really hear your own song till you have the mirror in front of you of an audience. For me, you hear it differently when you get out of your room and play for people."

Sorelli's has a stage, and Abita Blues Band has played there a few times. "The audience is real receptive," he said.

Format will depend on the number of people who sign up to play. He hopes singers can each do one to three songs and have time to talk about what inspired the song and why they wrote it. He encourages musicians who perform to bring their CDs as well.

Davidson said the north shore has many fine musicians who make a living playing in cover bands. "With Louisiana's rich surroundings, interesting people and musical heritage to draw on," however, it's only natural for bands eventually to begin to write their own music.

Abita Blues Band got its start playing open mikes in Varnado. Davidson and Mike Bordelon form the basis of the band that he said features "all original music about the South with guitar, bass, harmonica, washboard, spoons and other instruments that really make the show original and exciting." The title of the band's new CD, "Louisiana Crude," refers to the local landscape, characters and "the crudeness and beauty of Louisiana." It was recorded at Sound Landing in Covington.

He and Bordelon have known each other since they played in the band Possum before graduating in 1988 from Mandeville High. Two years ago, they began to focus on writing their own music, which he calls a "real turning point" for the band. He plans to try out some new songs at the event as well.

Davidson hopes the open mic night will continue every third or last Thursday of the month. "We'll give it a couple of months and see how it turns out."

To get on the schedule, e-mail him at info@abitablues.com or visit www.abitablues.com. - The Times Picayune


"The Abita Blues Band"

"The Abita Blues Band combines the rhythms of Louisiana, with their individual takes on the blues to create a very unique and enjoyable blend of original music."
- David Craig, Songwriter for Clarence Gatemouth Brown and Memphis Slim


Discography

Louisiana Crude 2010

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Bio

"The Abita Blues Band combines the rhythms of Louisiana, with their individual takes on the blues to create a very unique and enjoyable blend of original music."
- David Craig, Songwriter for Clarence Gatemouth Brown and Memphis Slim

Lyrically driven acoustic and electric blues, Abita Blues pays tribute to southern bars, ditches, and bathroom walls. Their debut album, Louisiana Crude is a dirty blues portrait of down and out characters, late night odysseys, and Louisiana Crude, in every sense of the word. These songs are infused with elements from north and south of Lake Pontchartrain. "There are not a lot of artists speaking to the beauty of growing up on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. We grew up here in the 70's. It was an adventure." Indeed, the local landscape takes center stage in songs like The Heron Song, Bayou Born, and All Kinds of Crazy - dirty blues tributes to the shallow creeks of south Louisiana. "We practically lived in the creeks running off the lake. How could it not come out in our music at some point."

Their live show has something for everybody. "Our set contains about half acoustic-rhythmic, folk songs and half electric, dirty-guitar tunes. There is a good bit of washboard and percussion throughout." In recording the album, the band wanted to preserve their live sound. "There are few effects on this album. We recorded every song in one or two takes and adjusted levels - that was it. We wanted the songs to sound like one of our live shows, like a big party in a small road-house."

For A Good Time Call and Wild Pierre, two of the bands favorite songs, indeed capture the gritty magic of a night at Birdies' Roadhouse.

Why the title Louisiana Crude? In part the title comes from the crude characters that inhabit songs like Keep Sniffin and Wild Pierre. It comes from the crude land scape that is both dirty and beautiful. And of course, oil. "The last song we recorded was the song Louisiana Crude, which is about the oil spill. But once we stepped back and looked at all the songs and what they were about, that song title worked on every level in describing the album."

Recent Shows:

Abita Blues recently returned from Disney’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival as the premier band representing Louisiana at the grand opening of the Louisiana Exhibit in Epcot. Other venues and festivals that they have visited include the Mandeville Seafood Festival, Jefferson Parish Family Gras, Crescent City Classic, live broadcasts on WWOZ and Radio Free Nashville, Tab Benoit’s Music Café, and Ruby’s Roadhouse, to name a few.