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Ben Abney

“Peg Knee” Ben Abney was among significantly less than a half-dozen blues pianists from Charlotte, NC, to create records through the 78 rpm period. Abney’s total documented output includes six sides manufactured in Charlotte on June 22, 1936. If his delivery date as shown in the Public Security Loss of life Index is usually to be respected, after that Abney was 52 during these sessions, producing him among the oldest blues pianists on record. Nevertheless this will not imply that Abney’s is among the oldest blues designs represented; his primary stride basses and fragments of Earl Hines-like “trumpet piano” phrases suggests a way of playing that originated in the middle- to later-’20s. Ben Abney’s piano playing is normally thick, clotted, and extremely discordant, recommending that he was a latecomer towards the device. Abney’s age, design and nickname claim that he may have got began as an over-all laborer, experienced a debilitating damage in middle age group, and learned to try out blues as a way to aid himself afterward. He’s listed being a musician in the Charlotte Town directories through the entire 1930s. Abney was an excellent vocalist, and his six making it through blues contain lyrics that may make reference to personal encounters. Bluebird had been polite if they entitled his third selection as “Method Down around,” for the lyric as sung is normally “Method Down in Polack City,” as well as the song identifies panhandling inside a mainly white community. Abney sings “Some individuals provide me a nickel, others a lousy dime/Anyone who’d provide me very much, you men ain’t no friend of mine.” Abney identifies faraway places such as for example Tennessee and St. Louis in his blues, but among the scant proof that is present in mention of him there is certainly nothing to claim that he ever remaining NEW YORK. But his piano playing suggests some knowing of Chicago design, not just that of Hines however in particular the strategy of Jimmy Yancey. Like Yancey, Abney comes with an eccentric family pet term, a substituted chord in the turnback that reads like something out of Thelonious Monk. This shape is situated in three of Abney’s six documented choices. Bluebird waited quite a while to release the final coupling out of this program; it didn’t show up until 1938, which is the only 1 of his information to support the complete billing of “‘Peg Calf’ Ben Abney.” The originals of the Bluebirds should be uncommon in the intense, as actually the Document Information reissue of these is extracted from an unhealthy and deteriorating tape duplicate, as opposed to the unique 78 rpm shellacs.

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