‘Rise Up’ – the new album
It was the 70s and, as the youngest of 5, Abby felt it was important to develop her own musical tastes. so her first musical love affair was with the Sesame Street records. Her older brothers were listening to Genesis’s Foxtrot album and David Bowie’s ‘Hunky Dory’, walking around the house in their bogarts singing the Velvet Underground’s ‘…and the coloured girls go –“do do do, do di do do”’...
There was a lime coloured play room with bean bags and a couple of acoustic guitars lying about.
When she got old enough, she’d come home from school and get one of her older brothers or sister to teach her a new chord. Once she got 3 chords, a whole new world opened up. No longer did she have to sing along to the radio into a tape recorder, she could make her own music... beatles songs and neil young songs and cat stevens... . the songs that had only 3 chords in them anyway.
After leaving school, she wandered around the world singing for her supper in new york subways, greek islands and and Parisian tequila slammer bars; eventually getting the barmen to ‘slam’ on the beat..
She returned to Australia and started the band Leonardo’s Bride with Dean Manning and went on to make some wonderful records with them, including the gold selling ‘Angel Blood’ with its top 5 single ‘Even When Im Sleeping’ which also won the coveted APRA Song of the Year award and, later, voted APRA ‘Top 20 Australian Songs of all Time’.
Since then, Abby has done more travelling, including some inner mountains she had to climb, and so bowed out of the spotlight for a few years, working on smaller musical projects, assisting friends with their recordings and promotion and quietly getting together a body of work to prepare for her debut solo offering.
After waiting til the numbers fell off the clock for some amazing producer to come to the fore to helm the project, and being fired by a couple of producers for being too unwavering in her vision for the album, she finally rolled up her sleeves and decided she was the only one who could make her record the way she wanted it.
So she enlisted the expertise of great engineers Phil Punch at Electric Avenue and Chris Townend at Big Jesus Burger in Sydney, and some wonderful people who joined her at crucial stages in the making of her sparkling new album ‘Rise Up’.
Robert F Cranny, Sarah Blasko’s musical partner, turned up one day when she was stuck on a couple of songs and helped her produce ‘Horses’ and ‘Im Not Missing You’. Her neighbour at the time, Tony Buchen (Baggsmen, Buchman), also co-produced several tracks on the album with Abby, like the first single ‘Shining Star’ and ‘High Like Heaven’.
Paul Mac played some beautiful piano and wurlitzer on a lot of the songs. The enigmatic David Lane added some twinkling magic too.
The legendary Jackie Orszaczky built extraordinary string arrangements for a couple of her songs; ‘See What the Morning Brings’ and the closer, ‘Rise Up’. Her old mate from Leonardo’s Bride, Dean Manning, came on board at the end of the project to record some overdubs and help her get the tracks ready for mixing.
Wooing him with plates of honey and almond spread on rice toast, the super-hero that is Paul Mckercher finally mixed all the songs at 301 in Sydney to be then mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound in New York City.
Some of the amazing musicians that have lovingly played on this album and helped breathe it into life are: Mark Axiak ( iota, Sandrine), James Haselwood (The Dissociatives, Mia Dyson), Naomi Radom (CODA, Josh Pyke) , Robert F Cranny (Sarah Blasko) , Nicholai Danko (78 Saab), Pat Wong (Leondardo’s Bride), Stella Mozgawa (Mink), Ivan Jordan (Paul Mac), Marty Hailey, Tim Curnick, Jared Underwood (CODA, Carla Werner).