Abi Tapia

Abi Tapia


Abi Tapia delivers catchy Americana - made for singing along to with the windows rolled down. Her undeniable skill at crafting simple, honest tunes satisfies fans of Dolly Parton and Patty Griffin and garners rave reviews for her live shows and albums, including 2008's The Beauty In The Ruin.


Abi Tapia smiles big when she’s sings. She can’t help it - she’s having so much fun. But in the world of independent music, where it’s hip to be tortured, she sometimes feels like a Pollyanna.

Abi undoubtedly gets her optimism from her mom who was expelled from Catholic School for being pregnant with her, but called it “the best day of her life.” Abi’s first fifteen years were a blur of Southern towns and yearly uprooting as her mother chased work and higher education. But the constant moving was presented as a big adventure and instilled in Abi the idea that new places have potential for happiness, discovery and success. So she kept moving.

Following her nomadic childhood she attended college in Iowa, where she was a Sociology major at Grinnell College, and began her professional music career while living in Portland, Maine. But Abi found herself attracted to the sweet twang and straightforward approach of country music so she migrated to Austin, Texas in 2002, where she quickly rooted herself in the city’s thriving live music scene. With its blend of country sincerity, cosmopolitan snap and plethora of skilled pickers, she continued maturing and developing her own style. Along the way she picked up awards and recognition for her songwriting from The Wildflower Music Festival, Austin Songwriters Group and the Kerrville Folk Festival.

The inviting warmth of the South, the expansiveness of the Midwestern Plains, the pluck and determination of a New England Yankee and a Texan’s independent spirit all come together in Abi’s “wanderlusty” music (a term she proudly displays on her guitar strap).

Tapia’s 2005 release, One Foot Out The Door, a driving collection of songs about loving and leaving produced by multi-instrumentalist Chris Gage, compelled The Austin Chronicle to comment that “the dozen confidently written songs weave tales of a woman assessing life and love with an uncompromising eye and sometimes bittersweet results.” Featuring the hot playing of Kym Warner (mandolin) and Eamon McGoughlin (fiddle) from acclaimed group The Greencards, the CD rose to the Top 40 on Americana radio.

Abi chased the music around the country, playing legendary listening rooms like Club Passim, The Bitter End, The Bluebird Café and Eddie’s Attic, while other nights she sang her heart out in crowded living rooms, libraries, or under a gazebo on a sprawling Texas ranch. Her songwriter’s sensibility allows her to appreciate the details and subtle differences of each place she visits and offers potential adventure and inspiration. That inspiration led to 12 new songs and Abi Tapia once again called on Chris Gage to produce.

2008’s The Beauty in the Ruin explores sadness and frustration, which after 8 years of the starving artist’s life Abi had plenty of, but there is a common thread of hope, redemption and joy in all of these supposedly sad songs. It is full of sing-able hooks and straddles country, folk and rock with ease, incorporating fiddle and pedal steel as well as some crunchy electric guitars and big drums. Abi and Chris got along so well that Gage and his wife and partner Christine Albert (together known as the Americana duo Albert and Gage) collaborated with Abi to release The Beauty in the Ruin on their label, MoonHouse Records. Happily, Abi is packing up and heading out across the country with her wanderlusty music in hand.

With a new album to promote, a strong community of friends and fellow artists in Austin, the energy of and support of her partnership with MoonHouse Records and the ability to find the bright side in any situation, how could Abi not be smiling? But she won’t stop moving, because there could always be something even better just over the horizon.

Awards and Achievements

Voted "Most Wanted" to return for 2009 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
2008 Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase Artist
Winner 2008 Songwriters Contest at Texas State Fiddle Championship
Showcased at 2008 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference
Showcased at 2007 Southwest Regional Folk Alliance
Showcased at 2006 SXSW Festival
Winner, 2005 Wildflower Festival Songwriter Contest
Special Recognition, 2003 Kerrville New Folk Contest, invited to appear at the 2004 Festival
2003 Scholarship Award from Austin Songwriters Group
Winner, 2001 Maine Arts Songwriter Showdown


Hand Over Your Heart

Written By: Abi Tapia and Ande Rasmussen

The weekend was just getting started
Down at the Double Horseshoe Bar
The band was really heatin’ up
As couples spun around the floor

Backlit through the door she cast
An ominous silhouette
She fired two shots in the air
And walked in to collect her debt

The bartender started sweating
And he held up both his hands
She aimed the gun between his eyes
And made her demands

Hand over your heart or say “Goodbye” to Friday night
Slide it nice and slow across that bar if you wanna see the morning light
I can’t tell if you really love me or if you’re just a careless flirt
Hand over your heart and nobody gets hurt

Everybody started screaming
They were running for the door
She fired two more shots
And told them to lay down on the floor

She said don’t dare to think
I won’t take this thing way way too far
But I got no grief with you fine folks
It’s just him behind the bar

3rd line: I told you that I loved you and you heard a red alert

She said I gave you a love so true
And you left me standing there empty-handed
So if I go down, you’re coming down too
It’s me and you
Do you understand it?

She says: I can’t wait for candlelight
So I’m gonna count to ten
And don’t try to stall me baby
The one with the gun says when

Hand over Your heart and say “Goodbye” to single life
Slide a ring onto my finger and make me your wife
(Tonight) I’m gonna marry you or bury you under 6 feet of dirt
Hand over your heart and nobody gets hurt
Hand over your heart and nobody gets hurt
Nobody gets hurt

The Easy Way

Written By: Abi Tapia

The easy way
Would be to exit the fray
Lay down
And close my eyes

Just dream away
Through the whole workday
Wake up
Willin’ and wise

I wanna go down hill
Been clawing my way up the side
I wanna just lay still
Been too long fighting the tide

I looked around
And suddenly found
I don’t know
What I’m trying to do

I’ve got my nose to the grind
But when I open my eyes
I’m looking out
At the same old view

I wanna go down hill
The one thing I still haven’t tried
I wanna just lay still
And float on out with the tide

There are heavenly bodies
Pulling us around
So if you lose me baby
Follow the water to the low ground
That’s where I’ll be found
Splashing around

I’m not giving up
I’m just giving in
To something bigger than me

The moon is full
I feel gravity’s pull
How could I
be stronger than the sea

Another State Line

Written By: Abi Tapia

Another State Line

When I was seven
We were movin’
From the seventh house
That we had lived in

Was it for a new job
Or a phd?
If Momma had a plan
She didn’t always tell me

And a little girl would cry
And ask her why

She’d say

Across Another State Line
You never know what you’re gonna find
They got different trees
And new people to meet
I get so tired
of walking these same old streets
We’re not movin away
We’re getting closer to the place
Where we’re finally gonna stay
So slam that door girl
Sittin’ still is wasting time
Before the sun goes down
We’ll be across another state line

When I was eighteen
Momma had settled sown
She even bought a house
Ina cute little college town
But I picked a school
Twelve hours away
When it was finally time to go
I just sat in the driveway

Staring at the map I asked myself why
Momma said don’t cry

Across Another State Line
You never know what you’re gonna find
They got different trees
And new people to meet
Aren’t you tired
of walking these same old streets
You’re not movin away
You’re getting closer to the place
Where you’re finally gonna stay
Don’t you know that
You can come home any time
But you’ve got class in the morning
Across another state lin

Momma calls me
On the cell phone
Says “where are you girl
And when are you comin home?”

I say “it’s Dallas”
Tomorrow it’s Nashville
Then I gotta drive all night
Just to make a fifty dollar bill

She says I don’t know
How you do what you do
But you should Momma
I learned it from you

Across Another State Line
You never know what you’re gonna find
They got different trees
And new people to meet
I get nowhere
walking those same old streets
I’m not runnin’ away
Seems like the road the only place
Where I’m ever gonna stay
But don’t you worry
I’m gonna be just fine
Got a big show in Carolina
Across another state line

Drive Away Slow

Written By: Abi Tapia

We were fillin’ up the boxes
We were fillin’ up the bags
Turnin’ closets into yard sale treasures
We were turnin’ panties into rags

And I was gettin’ rid of all the things
I had been keeping just in case
Looking hard through the books and the records
Trying hard not to look at your face

I wish I could make it easier
I wish I could make you happier
Ooooh babe I gotta go
But I’m gonna drive away slow

I was not buying groceries
Only junk food for the car
I was looking ‘round the kitchen wondering
Whose pots and plates and pans those are

I guess I’ll leave them for you
And you can just owe me one
No, you don’t owe me anything
I could never pay you back for all the things you’ve done


Oh, and then I started cryin’
And wiping my nose on my sleeve
How come every time I go somewhere
There’s always someplace that I gotta leave?


Let the Lover Be

Written By: Abi Tapia

Let the lover be fat / Let the lover be thin
Let the lover be hairy / Give the lover a trim
There are a million shades of beauty / That the lover can see
Let the lover be

Let the lover be distracted / Let the lover be confused
Let the lover believe / They got better things to do
Like every second apart / Is drudgery
Let the lover be

Let the lover be on solid ground
Let the lover be lost at sea
Let the lover be you
Let the lover be me

Let the lovers be girls / Let the lovers be boys
When it comes to who they love / Give the lover their choice
Cause love is even bigger / Than you think it can be
Let the lover be

Let the lover miss church / Let the lover sleep in
Let the lover off the hook / Cause love is not a sin
And love is not a reason / To feel guilty
Let the lover be

Let the lover be captive
Let the lover be free
Let the lover be you
Let the lover be me

Let the lover be heard / Let the lover be seen
Let the lover build a castle / Of chocolate and dreams
Don’t hold the lover down / To practicality
Let the lover be

Give the lover applause / Give the lover a treat
When they step on the bus / Give the lover your seat
They’re saving the world / Anonymously
Let the lover be


Written By: Abi Tapia

All the lakes cut off from rivers
Look lonely from above
From the airplane I see so much green
And I love, love, love
How the sun is gold on the water
And the highway cuts through the trees
My body is wearing its seatbelt
But my heart is falling to its knees

I am not tired of flying
Through a partly cloudy sky
The blue is just blue it’s just one pure blue
On the ground it’s just try, try, try
I am not tired of trying
But I like to get away
I can see things up here
I can hear what the world has to say

I can’t believe we did this
You and me and the rain
And the molten core and the urge to explore
And the president and the pain
We are making this place and remaking this place
The coffee, the folding tray
We are ants, it’s too hot in here
Every second of every day


I don’t need the world to be perfect
I don’t need to know what we’re doing
Sometimes I just need a wider angle
To see the beauty in the ruin



The Beauty in the Ruin
MoonHouse Recrods (2008)
Produced by Chris Gage
Recorded and mixed by Chris Gage at MoonHouse Studio, Austin, TX
Additional engineering by Bill Small
Mastered by Fred Remmert

Abi Tapia - vocals, background vocals, acoustic guitar
Chris Gage - guitars, keyboards, mandolin, dobro, percussion, background vocals
Glenn Fukunaga - bass
Bruce Logan - drums
Eleanor Whitmore - viloin
Buzz Evans - pedal steel
Christine Albert - background vocals
Bill Small - background vocals

Art Direction & Design by Dick Reeves and Heather Hill
Photography by Todd V. Wolfson

All songs written by Abi Tapia (Wanderlusty Music/Golly Gee Music ASCAP)

Abi's Song "Get It And Go" is included on The Ginn Sisters' 2006 Release, Blood Oranges

One Foot Out the Door (2005)
All songs by Abi Tapia (Wanderlusty Music, ASCAP) except “Hand Over Your Heart” by Abi Tapia and Anders Rasmussen (Gotcha Covered Music, ASCAP).

Produced and Engineered by Chris Gage at MoonHouse Studios, Austin, TX.

Abi Tapia – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica
Chris Gage – Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Keyboards, Dobro, Harmony Vocals
Glen Fukanaga - Bass
Paul Pearcy – Drums and Percussion
Eamon McLoughlin – Violin and Viola
Kym Warner – Mandolin
Mike Hardwick – Lap and Pedal Steel
Brit Ginn and Tiffani Ginn – Harmony Vocals

"Fine Texas debut (and second album to date) balances its quieter moments with a refreshing sparkle reminiscent of Terri Hendrix's Wilory Farm or Shawn Colvin at her most unguarded."
Texas Music

This Life Will Be Mine (2001)
All songs by Abi Tapia (Wanderlusty Music, ASCAP).

Produced and Engineered by Jeff Ciampa.
Mastered by Joe Viers at John Schwaab Studios, Columbus, OH.

Abi – Acoustic guitar, Vocals, Harmonica
Jeff Ciampa – Bass, Wurlitzer
Tony McClung – Drums
Jim Ed Cobbs – Percussion
Nancy Gamso – Clarinet, Flute

“The songs on the disc are solid nuggets of songcraft – distinct, evocative, and at times sensual . . . the band more often than not lays back, letting Tapia’s voice drive the mood.”
The Portland Phoenix

Set List

Some Originals:
1. Another State Line
2. The Easy Way
3. How It All Started
4. My Miner
5. Let The Lover Be
6. Flying
7. Beware
8. Just Let Me Go
9. Get It And Go
10. Sorry
11. Born Again
12. The Last Waltz
13. Big Front Porch
14. Cried Wolf
15. Calamine Lotion
16. Iowa
17. Get it and Go
18. Hand over Your Heart
19. Drive Away Slow
20. The Easy Way
21. The Way to My Heart
22. Somewhere to Go
23. Just Let Me Go
24. Nothing to Hold me Down
25. Selective Memory
26. For a While
27. Back to Back
28. Lone Star

Select Covers of:
Dolly Parton
Hank Williams
Kacey Chambers
Lucinda Williams
Johnny Cash