John Calvin Abney had a busy spring lined up thanks to his day job as John Moreland’s guitar player, but the pandemic obliterated those plans in March. The Tulsa, Oklahoma, musician and singer-songwriter instead hunkered down and began working on a new batch of his own songs, with his pal Moreland providing some instrumental assistance.
Abney’s new album Familiar Ground arrives November 20th and follows his 2019 release Safe Passage. His latest song from the project is the gorgeous, hopeful single “When This Blows Over.”
In the gentle, country-tinged tune, Abney answers the question a lot of us are currently asking: When this is all over, what’s the first thing you’re going to do? (Though unfortunately he doesn’t have any answers as to what date or time of year that may be.)
In Abney’s case, his post-pandemic plan is reuniting with the people he loves and going places. “There was a time in my life when I could be anywhere,” he sings, a note of sadness in his voice that makes him sound a little bit like Elliott Smith if he’d founded a scruffy alt-country band and moved to Oklahoma. It’s dappled with pedal steel, as comforting and pleasant as a bright autumn day.
“We can summer together if we can winter this,” Abney offers in the bridge, and then he repeats that title line like a mantra. He sings it so sweetly and convincingly, it’s impossible not to believe him.