Abel Kane – Following Their DreamsBy Bev Moser
I was honored to be asked to attend a show at the Clarksville River fest by one of Nashville’s newer acts, Abel Kane. As the name implies – if you know your biblical references – and as the band members themselves describe who they are and what the group name refers too as little bit bad and a little bit of good.
Abel Kane is made up of three band members, Ryan Reynolds, Dave Webb and Jamey Perrenot. Each bringing to the group many years of working within the music industry, with some of the top name groups, behind the scene writers, and music row icons. This particular show was held outdoors, on the banks of the Cumberland River and the crowd filled not only the sloping grassy area in front of the stage, but also crowded the sidewalks and vendor areas stretching along the riverfront. The show was nothing short of everything the band claims to be, true country music – with a kick butt rockin’ feel and attitude. They formed this band with the desire to bring the lyrics from their hearts to yours, while they follow their dreams of changing the face of country music, and I believe, as they do, it is gonna happen!
The Best of Us
There’s a crowd outside my window
Gathered in the street
They’re screaming at each other
All in the name of peace
War never is the answer
But some battles must be fought
Just as long as we remember
Who it is that pays the cost ….
Recently lead singer Ryan Reynolds wrote the lyrics to this heartfelt and touching tribute to those who serve in our armed forces and within days of putting the song on the band’s YouTube website and official band website, it had been “hit” well over 2000 times. The band put out a request to their listeners and friends asking for photos of service men and women to be included in an upcoming video for the song. What the band did not expect, was 1000’s of letters along with the photos and the stories and touching words expressed in them. You can see a slideshow on YouTube of some of the photos at www.youtube.com/AbelKaneRocks and also on the bands website at www.abelkane.com
After the show, I met with the guys and visited with them about who they are, where they have been and where they are headed … and in true Abel Kane fashion, the visit was a little rough around the edges at times, and others very down to earth, heartfelt and revealing of the good natured people they are. I was blessed in sharing some of their time and taking a peek inside what makes Abel Kane so appealing.
Bev: I am so glad to get to visit with each of you and thank you for inviting me tonight. I know tonight’s show was a tribute to the troops, our war hero’s. Can you share with me your feelings on your participation and feelings to this tribute?
Abel Kane: We support our troops, no matter the politics are behind it. Those people are over there sacrificing their lives, and their time with their families, so we are definitely behind them. It is a way for us to say THANK YOU. It is pretty humbling, because I know I would not want to be over there. I would not want to do that, but thank God, there are men and women who are willing.
Bev: You have a website with photos and letters from the soldiers, I understand it has been overwhelming. What has had the most impact on you from this part of the tribute?
Abel Kane: Jamey – The website is already up, Ryan wrote a song a couple weeks ago called “The Best of Us”; this was his brilliance and his idea. He sent out messages via myspace and youtube and our band website to ask people to send us photos and stories of their friends and family, both past and present in the military that they would like to see honored. We put together this slide show of the photos. Unfortunately, we do not have time during the time-span of the song to share the story that accompanies each picture, but we have pictures that we felt really were significant. We were over whelmed with the response and are still getting photos and letters, but we had to agree on a cut off to a degree – so we could get this out there. If you go to our Youtube site you can see the slide show and listen to the song. And it is also on our website, www.AbelKane.com and we will put it up on our myspace page as well.
Ryan – We are also working on something new, and I think we have agreed it will be a website at www.thebestofus.com, but it is a work in progress. This whole thing started as simply being a homage to those who have served, and within a week to ten days we were inundated with several hundred photographs of fallen soldiers by their parents, sisters, brothers, wives and husbands of their last picture of their loved ones. We originally wanted to do a video for the song …but it quickly turned into a slide show which we then extended the length of the song by a minute and a half just to fit in all the pictures we could.
Bev: Where does the name Abel Kane come from?
Abel Kane: Dave – It is a little bit of good and a little bit of bad in all of us.
Ryan – Some people are good at being bad, and some people are bad at being good.
Bev: The three of you come from many years experience in the music business, as a culmination of these experiences, what makes your music grab the hearts of the listeners?
Abel Kane: Ryan – We all started out as groupies (much laughter filled the air).
Jamey – That is a really good question (pointing at Ryan) he is a song writer by trade and comes up with the catchy lyrics and ideas and the hooks and stuff, and Dave and I come from the player and instrumentalist background and when Ryan and I started it was just his concept really, but I had wanted to do something just like this for awhile where you could take country songs and you just rock ‘em out, not country rock so much, but really ROCK THE COUNTRY. So the song and the music is more like a rock song with country lyrics, and add some banjo and fiddle, so it still has that country twang on there, but also has that heavy rock thing as well.
Dave - for me, being selfish or whatever, but my background is being a bass player for a lot of years and I have had the opportunity to travel and play with some very big names and very cool people and do very cool things but, at the end of the day, you are still just a hired gun, you are a side man, so when these guys offered the opportunity to come in and be a part of something, and step up to the front line and actually have my name on it too, as an artist I jumped at it. I fell in love with the music and the guys
Bev: How long have the three of you been together as Abel Kane?
Abel Kane: Dave – As the three of us, I came in the end of May
Ryan (adds chidingly) – but we still have not told our parents about us yet!
Bev: Do you have any plans in the works for going over and entertaining the troops?
Abel Kane: We are trying to get that worked out, yeah, but there seems to be a lot of wrinkles and kinks in the system between trying to get over there and get to our soldiers, but we are really wanting too and hoping we can work this out. When it is meant to happen, then it will happen. We want to take to them just a little piece of home.
Bev: You have written with some great songwriters, do you have a favorite or if you could write with anybody in the world, who would it be?
Abel Kane: Jamey - well I am a Beatles fan, that is what made me want to play music was hearing the Beatles, so if I ever got a chance to do anything with Paul McCartney, I would probably faint.
Ryan - And you would wake up and write a really good one!
Dave – I could probably be just as happy playing bass for Aerosmith or Conway Twitty – of course it would be difficult to do it now with Conway.
Ryan - well I have actually probably already have had the honor to write with who I wanted too. In the country format, there was a guy named Harlan Howard, and Harlan was the sh*t! There is nobody more awesome. We smoked, and we drank and we played a 1000 games of chess where he kicked my ass every time, and sometimes on accident a song would fall out. That probably is my guy. I have been lucky enough to be one of the few people who can say I have had that dream come true.
Bev: Going back to the tribute and the Best of Us, will there actually be a video, or are you going to stick with the slide show?
Abel Kane: The slide show. When you see this, you will realize there really is not a video that can do as much justice and have as much impact as the slide show.
Bev: Are you looking to get picked up by a major music label or are you happy with the way you are promoting your music?
Abel Kane: There is some stuff we are involved with, called INSIGHT ENTERTAINMENT, make sure you check out what is coming up in December. We have a pretty cool thing worked out with them that is going to bring us a lot of exposure. And we will be neck deep in the whole thing, kickin’ butt. When you take a chance on something like this and talking about homage, we are the people for the people. This first album by itself we were really proud of it, the second album is in the pipeline and it is rollin’ up to the deck and it is very close to being finished.
If you loved the first one, well we have gotten nothin’ but two thumbs up on the second one. It is souped up, bigger and meaner. It is a little more like we have found ourselves and discovered what, as a group, we are, the first one was definitely honest and we feel like it is us, but this second one, we are growing up a little bit, and I don’t mean like emotionally (laughter fills the air again) cause we are not ever gonna grow up.
Bev: So far what is one particular memory of your career that really stands out?
Abel Kane: LOTS of laughs and snickers when I asked this question.
Dave – I just played my first ever biker rally, and it was with these guy (emphasizing THESE GUYS) and it was like one of my first gigs out with them, and it was a crazy, very crazy weekend. Enuf said. It was at Little Sturgis, in Sturgis KY . Hells Angels was our security. I will say one thing and that is that there are just certain things that you cannot un-see.
Bev: What’s next on the horizon for you?
Abel Kane: Short term, we just got a big gig in Phoenix AZ, they have locked us down, for the entire state fair for AZ. We will be doing shows on both country stations, doing on air stuff, and the rock station too, because we can, we are both. We are headed west, the dirty bird is flying west, for 24 dates, the 1st day of the fair to the last day of the fair, three times a day for three weeks.
Bev: What would you most like people to say about Abel Kane when they look back in fifty years?
Abel Kane: Dave – That we changed the face of modern music.
Ryan – We want them to still be trying to figure out just what the h*ll it was that we did. I want them to be teaching a class at Belmont in Nashville and half the class is factual and half is figurin us out. And it is the most simplest of all things, we just give the truth. We are straight with everybody. We don’t cringe… we don’t smile and pretend we like everybody. Man this is the best part, getting’ to meet everybody. We do not have fans, there is no such thing, and we have the KANE GANG, that is a whole different animal. That is our backbone, we are nothing without them, there is no marketing machine, no over paid labels, no fake manufacturing, this is human based.
Jamey – Hey we just want to add, that when you print this, make sure you tell ‘em all how good looking we are!