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Sunday, August 2nd, 2009 5:52 PM

folkmusic.about.com

Falcon Ridge Folk Festival is one of the most well-attended, well-respected folk music festivals in North America. Each year, folk artists and fans converge on a farm in Hillsdale, New York, to celebrate some of the best in contemporary folk music. Here are five artists you don't want to miss if you're headed to Falcon Ridge 2009. . .
 
Abi Tapia is yet another walking example of why Austin, Tex., is so revered for its music scene. Drawing from a clear cadre of country influences, Tapia's soulful alto wraps effortlessly around her personal lyrics. She'll be swapping songs with Lucy Wainwright Roche and Blue Moos—a workshop well worth sitting for.  -Kim Ruehl
Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 1:15 PM

THE ADVOCATE - News, Arts and Events for Berkshire and Bennington Counties

Berkshirites better dust off their dancin' boots. There's a new indie singer/songwriter set to burst onto the music scene. Abi Tapia, 30, a native of Mobile, Ala., and most recently a resident of Austin, Texas, relocated to Housatonic in January and is set to win some new fans in gigs at the Dream Away Lodge in Becket tonight (Thursday, June 4) and Club Helsinki in Great Barrington on Monday, June 15.

Tapia, with her cascade of curls and nearly ever-present grin, exudes charm and down-home friendliness. Confident and relaxed, it is apparent she is where she wants to be and tickled pink about it, as well.

Despite some of the subject matter in her songs, her optimism shines through in her most recent album, "The Beauty in the Ruin," released in June 2008 by MoonHouse Records.

"This last album," she said, "I was deliberately trying to write about sad things, or hard things, or frustrations. ... But when I looked back at all of it, I saw there was always a happy ending, a conclusion, a lesson I learned from it."

For example, in "The Easy Way," Tapia writes of a conscious attempt to fall into depression, yet the music itself is uplifting and light, urging the listener to sing along. With steel guitar and fiddles accompanying her acoustic guitar and soulful vocals on this album, Tapia's music is toe-tappin' country at its best.

From Austin to Housatonic
But just how does a Southern girl make her way to Housatonic? Because of love, of course. Tapia and her girlfriend, Alison Hart, were living in Portland, Maine, when Tapia got the itch to move to Austin.

"I wanted to just move and be where the music was," Tapia explained. Hart was game, and so off to Austin the pair went.

One of the reasons Tapia moved to Austin, she said, was the support musicians receive there. For example, the City Council honors a different musician weekly, with the musician invited to play before the council and the week named for the musician. There was also the lure of PBS' "Austin City Limits" TV show as well.
 
But Hart was not happy in her job. A longtime dancer, she had made the decision to move into dance administration. To support Hart in the same way she herself had been supported in her desire to move to Austin, Tapia followed Hart here when she accepted a job at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Tapia said.

Madonna, Williams and Parton

Tapia's music influences are as varied as they get.

"'Lucky Star' by Madonna was the very first single I bought on 45," she said. From Madonna and other classic 1980s songstresses, Tapia moved "more into singer/songwriters like Dar Williams, the Indigo Girls."

Her interest expanded to include more country artists as well as what she termed "classic country."

"I loved the simplicity of it," she said. "A straight-up country song - it's so refreshing and beautiful," she added. Favorites then included Dolly Parton and Lyle Lovett.

Today, Tapia is listening more often to Nashville performers, but with a specific goal in mind: She is trying to write more for the publishing market.

"For me, it's the writing. I really, really love performing, but if I had to choose if my song would reach a wide audience with someone else singing it, or I would reach a wide audience singing someone else's song, I'd definitely choose for my song to go without me," she said.

Breaking in

For some artists, breaking into new venues can be difficult, without the right foundation. That is not the case for Tapia, whose way was smoothed by her participation last summer in the Emerging Artists Showcase at the Falcon Ridge Festival in Hillsdale, N.Y. Twenty artists are chosen to perform; of those 20, four are chosen by the audience as "Most Wanted to Return." The festival will be held this year July 23-26.

"So that's like a New England stamp of approval for venues," Tapia said.

Tapia certainly is willing to go the limit to get her music heard. With tour dates already booked into 2010, her venues stretch from Reading, Mass., to Houston, Texas, to New York City, Montpelier, Vt., and beyond. She is currently trying to put a fall European tour together with two other Austin songwriters.

But regardless of where her listeners are - from the wilds of Becket and the Dream Away, to the urbanites in Manhattan, to friends and supporters in Austin - there are a couple of things Tapia would like them to take away from her music.
"My favorite thing about music when I'm listening to it - when you're in a funk and you hear a song and it brings you out of it . if I could give someone that feeling," she said. "Just to kind of think life is really complex and complicated, but at the end of the day, it's a good thing to be alive and get to experience it all."
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 3:32 PM

Shifting Perspectives Reveal "The Beauty in the Ruin"

Abi Tapia's 2008 release is fun and full of surprises

CD Review by Bob McKillop
Abi Tapia’s voice is sensuous and full of maturity.  But the playful way she rides the melodies on her 2008 release, “The Beauty in the Ruin”, reveal the child-like wonder and awe that she has for the world.

The themes in the twelve songs on this disc help reflect that wonder, awe, and fun , too.  Tapia’s writing examines human relationships; she occasionally finds them wanting, but she sings about the joy that they can bring if we take things one moment at a time.

In a couple of these songs, Tapia displays the quintessential songwriter’s talent – turning a theme on it’s head to bring the perspective of the listener around to a different point of view.  She understands song structure well, and the function that a song’s bridge can play in this process.  The album’s opening track, “Another State Line” is a good example. Tapia uses the first two verses to lament the rootless-ness of her early life.  But we find out in the last verse that the constant change in her childhood has prepared her well for the life that she has chosen for herself – that of a touring musician, constantly on the road, crossing countless state lines.

She uses this technique of perspective change more masterfully in a track that appears later in the album, “Just Let Me Go”.  In the first two verses Tapia pleads for freedom from an over-protective mother and a high school boyfriend looking for a wife.  But the bridge and third verse make it clear that these are not truly the chains keeping her in town and away from her dreams: instead, it is her own fear that keeps her in place.

“Everybody’s here for the send off
Bon voyage, hip, hip, hooray
But my feet are like lead, my heart is an anvil
My fear, why do you carry such weight”

In “The Easy Way”, the surprise is subtler, and is not manifested in song structure, but instead, in gradually evolving lyrical narrative.  At first, it seems as though Tapia is singing about the need for a break in the action, a relief from burnout, a sabbatical from the daily grind in order to refresh the energy needed to get through it all. But as the song unfolds, we see that she is just recognizing that her human energy responds more readily to the forces inherent in the natural world than to those acting on her from the commercial and social world.

“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?”

But this album is not all about lyrics, narrative, and structure.  It is a fun album to listen to, with a nice variety of styles and themes.  “Let the Lover Be” has a country two-step beat, and is a triumphant, unconditional celebration of love and its ability to save the world, regardless of who is loving who or why.  “My Miner” is a little melancholy, but it comes across as a sweet love song from a miner’s wife to her husband underground.  “Get It and Go” tells a lover to take what he came for, and leave, because he’s not fooling anyone.  These themes support the title of the album well – they find the “beauty in the ruin” (a line from the track “Flying” on this album.)

The tracks on this record are consistently well arranged, beautifully performed, and expertly engineered and mixed.  Tapia’s guitar tone is always rings brightly through the mix with an emphasis on the high end.  Buzz Evan’s pedal steel guitar engages Tapia’s vocals in a very complimentary conversation throughout the record. He and Eleanor Whitmore on fiddle provide energetic and uplifting instrumental breaks in many of these tunes, allowing us time to integrate the theme of the lyrics while not losing the emotions conveyed in the melody.

Chris Gage of Moon House Records recorded and produced this album, and played electric guitar, a couple of killer mandolin parts, and keyboards (including some subtle but extremely powerful Hammond organ highlights in “The Easy Way”.)  The mix is very clean and the instrumentation is intelligent and not over done in any way.  The tracks sound great from one end of the album to the other, thanks to some great mastering by Fred Remment.

Abi Tapia lived in Portland for a while after college, and before moving to her current home in the music scene in Austin, Texas.  (Late breaking news - Tapia is moving to western Massachusetts this winter!  ed.)   She gigs frequently in Maine; upcoming shows include The North Star Music Café in Portland on February 6 (with Anne Heaton), and The Kennebunk Coffeehouse in Kennebunk on February 14 (opening for Patrick Fitzsimmons).  These are two great opportunities to see this wonderful songwriter and vocalist live and in person.

 

Monday, December 15th, 2008 4:17 PM

Sing Out Autumn 2008Abi Tapia's warm, wide open smile on the cover is a real good clue. Abi is a singer-songwriter whose songs veer toward joyous and upbeat parts of life even when these aren't easy. The opener, "Another State Line," is a perfect introduction. It's an autobiographical account of her peripatetic life first as the mother who raised her solo frequently had to uproot for new possibilities, and then on her own as she went to college and eventually took up the traveling life of a solo performer.


Abi's joy singing her songs is palpable. Producer Chris Gage has crafted smart, sharp, uncluttered arrangements to illuminate the songs and put air under their wings. He's the album's musical MVP as well, playing guitars, keyboards, mandolin, Dobro and percussion. Drummer Bruce Logan, Buzz Evans on pedal steel and fiddler Eleanor Whitmore completed the band all playing brightly throughout.

Abi devises happy melodies. "Flying" soars giddily. "Let The Lover Be," a celebration of a song is buoyant and loaded with smiles. "How It All Started" relates a romance with a lifelong friend the summer they both graduated high school before college separated their paths in the fall. Even the more downbeat ones can pull you in deep. "My Miner" is a wife's prayer for her man's nightly safe return. "Beware" is cautionary.

The Beauty in the Ruin is Abi Tapia's third album, all produced by Chris Gage who clearly has great simpatico with Abi. It's the first I've heard, and I really like her song craft and the rich, confident tone in her voice. She has made a lovely record that makes me feel I've found a new friend. - MT

Thursday, December 11th, 2008 10:05 AM

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How apt is Abi Tapia's description of her music as 'wanderlusty'. Her new album, The Beauty in The Ruin, a mature collection exploring themes of sadness and frustration, is full of planes, trains, automobiles and Greyhound buses - travellin' light, travellin' hard. Difficult to believe she hasn't been picked up by on of Nashville's majors.

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 11:29 AM

Maverick Dec Cover ****
Well-executed country-flavoured Americana


Though she's been based in Austin for the past six years, Abi Tapia has spent much of her life on the move. Following college in Iowa, she moved to Portland, Maine, where she set out on her music career. Now lined up with Chris Gage and Christine Albert her music owes more to the Texas twang than a soft New England vibe. This is a real cohesive recording, with lots of songs full of southern imagery, and songs of love and life. Some seem to be autobiographical. Another State Line is a road song based on her nomadic childhood with a restless mother and Abi's current life as a troubadour singer~songwriter.Just Let Me Go is the time-honoured theme of a child grown-up and ready ta flee the nest, and Flying was written mainly on an airplane over Louisiana looking down at the infrastructure following the hurricane.


There's also a few heartbreaking love songs. My Miner is a real great song about a wife's love and understanding of her man risking death working below ground in order to feed his family. Though encased in a mid-tempo arrangement, The Easy Way is a dark song about sinking into depression. If you listen to her words, this is so inspired, as is Beware, which puts into context the problems of this modern world, especially for the fairer sex traversing America. Alongside Abi's own acoustic guitar, Chris Gage plays guitars, keyboards, mandolin, Dobro and percussion with the rhythm section of Glenn Fukunaga (bass), Bruce Logan (drums) and sweetening from Eleanor Whitmore (violin), Buzz Evans (pedal steel). It all adds up to very fine country-flavoured Americana. AC

Monday, October 20th, 2008 5:10 PM

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This is the second album from this modern day troubadour and it’s a CD that’s a record (pun intended) of her life to date. The opening track "Another State Line" tells of the nomadic existence of her early life, moving from state to state. "Beware" highlights the dangers of travelling alone, especially for women. However, the killer track is the uptempo "Get It and Go" with wonderful electric guitar playing reminiscent of Mark Knopfler that lifts the song, and is the outstanding track on the album. Her first CD hit the Americana Top 40, this strong set of songs should follow suit. www.abitapia.com
Steve O.

Monday, October 20th, 2008 4:55 PM

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(Translated from French) A nomadic childhood due to frequent maternal moves in the South, university studies in Iowa, musical debut in Portland, ME, followed by her move to Austin, shaped her passionate character and musical style of a wanderlust quality, which she manifests on the fret of her guitar.  A first CD, “One Foot Out the Door”, produced by Chris Gage in 2005, gave her a start, and we find her three years later, still with Chris Gage and Christine Albert, for a second release full of beautiful American ballads, some of which autobiographical in tone, such as “How It All Started”, whose melody reminds us of “Crazy in Alabama” by Kate Campbell on civil rights (which by the way I taught to English students) or “Let the Lover Be” and two waltzes “Just Let Me Go” and “The Last Waltz”, all of which bring out her sharp melodic sense that so naturally stays with you.

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008 3:38 PM

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****  "This is the third release by transplanted Texican Tapia, and it consists of an even dozen self-penned originals songs performed with a veritable who’s who of the Austin scene. Her music ranges from pensive introspection, as in the opener, “Another State Line” to an upbeat perspective on life and love, “Let the Lover Be”, with a very nice violin line, (I’m such a sucker for that instrument), by Eleanor Whitmore. Produced by long time collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Chris Gage, The Beauty in the Rain lies somewhere in between country and folk, and her lyrics bring to mind some of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s better work. Tapia exhibits more confidence and poise than in 2005’s One Foot Out the Door; I think she knows where she’s going these days." -Don Grant

Friday, September 26th, 2008 6:16 PM

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"There are twelve consistently strong songs on this third disc by this husky voiced Austin based singer in what might be called a Modern Folk or Country Rock sensibility. She might well be someone who has been flying under the radar of many outside of Austin, however this disc should get her much more notice. It is solid and complete from beginning to the end, there is not a throwaway cut on it. Tapia wrote all of the tunes and more than proves her mettle as a songwriter. There is a consistent bittersweet feeling that pervades the disc but never overwhelms it. There is a power in her voice that never lets you sink into melancholia, but consistently keeps you going.

A gathering of Austin All-Stars backs Tapia and provides some of the tastiest musical excursions around without ever taking away from either the lyrics or the vocals. Producer Chris Gage contributes the guitars, keyboards, mandolin, dobro, percussion, and background vocals. He is ably assisted by Glenn Fukunaga, who provides some of the best bass lines around, Bruce Logan on drums, Eleanor Whitmore on violin, Buzz Evans on some tasty pedal steel guitar and Christine Albert and Bill Small on background vocals. With sensitivity and directness in songs like Get It and Go, Just Let Me Go, and The Last Waltz, there is little doubt that Abi Tapia is heading towards far bigger stages. This is a disc my ears don't want removed from the rotation." -Bob Gottlieb

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008 11:24 AM

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"Bittersweet is more than an undertone in Abi Tapia's latest CD, but that's not the prevailing emotion here. Beauty weaves strong Southern influences with an old-school 1970s country-folk sensibility, mastering the understatement in her songs and avoiding cutesy-rootsy overkill with intelligence and a fine tenor on this turning-point recording." -Margaret Moser

 

Monday, September 1st, 2008 11:46 AM
Buddy September Cover "Abi Tapia’s THE BEAUTY IN THE RUIN is a fine collection of sad songs sewn into a warm patchwork quilt with “a common thread of hope, redemption, and joy.”  The people she writes and sings about have “spent a long, long time on the edge of a think red line” between right and wrong, pride and shame.
 
Tapia’s third CD includes a dozen consistently strong songs that, if they must be classified, are modern folk that would mostly fit on country radio, too.  The tone might be a little too “confessional” for the electric guitar crowd, but that’s their problem.  The songs are good, the music’s good and never in too much of a hurry, and Tapia’s fairly husky vocals resonate with sincerity appeal.
 
The CD’s title is a line from “Flying,” which Tapia wrote after flying over Louisiana and seeing the relationship between nature and man.  With songwriting awards from the Kerrville Folk Festival, the Wildflower Music Festival, and the Austin Songwriters Group, we expect strong lyrics.
 
On “Beware,” the most traditional-folk-sounding song, Tapia urges us to beware of the water, beware of the sky, beware of the fire, and the earth beneath your feet, and to stay close to the TV because there’s no safety for a ship out on the sea.  She means just the opposite of course, or at least means that living is worth the danger.
 
Chris Gage produced and added keyboards, guitar, Dobro, mandolin, and percussion with contributions from Glenn Fukunaga (bass), Bruce Logan (drums), Eleanor Whitmore (violin), and Buzz Evans (steel guitar).  Gage, Christine Albert and Bill Small add effective backup vocals."  - Tom Geddie
Thursday, August 28th, 2008 11:37 AM

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"What stands out throughout this album, her third, is Abi Tapia's effervescent performance. Her unrequited love for singing is palpable and album producer Chris Cage has captured that aspect of her music in spades." - Arthur Wood, read more at www.Folkwax.com

Thursday, August 7th, 2008 8:44 AM

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"Her newest album, "The Beauty in the Ruin," has less of the overt country influence of 2005's "One Foot Out the Door." Tapia has stuck to a rootsy feel, though, and now sounds like a performer completely confident of her voice, both as a writer and a singer." - Lawrence Specker, Mobile Press -Register

Monday, August 4th, 2008 4:17 PM
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Singer-songwriter Abi Tapia comes up big with her third offering of soft Americana tunes. The Beauty in the Ruin continues nicely where 2005’s One Foot Out The Door left off. The title of the album comes from the anthemic “Flying.” Tapia sings: “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.” That is a pretty profound statement… as many of us are too busy running around and looking at the negatives in the world to pick out the good things in life.

Storytelling and memories seem to run the theme here. “Another State Line” juxtaposes her nomadic upbringing with her life as a musician. “How It All Started” is where Tapia tells the story of high school loves who suffer the reality of one discovering a bigger world than the two of them. “Born Again” spotlights her struggle to be who she should with who she believes she is. Each song has wonderful music and a beauty in the lyrics.

Tapia has assembled a very good cast of musicians on The Beauty in the Ruin as well. The rhythm section of Glen Fukanaga (bass) and Bruce Logan (drums) lay a sweet beat down. Eleanor Whitmore’s violin is a beautiful accompaniment to Tapia’s slightly-southern tinged voice, and producer Chris Gage plays a number of instruments as well.

Catch Tapia at Flipnotics at the Triangle (4600 Guadalupe) on August 22 and if you’ve not picked up this gem, do it there. (A+) Sean Claes
Friday, July 11th, 2008 11:34 AM

Moors Magazine moors magazine

(the Netherlands. We're working on a better translation.)

Abi Tapia - The Beauty in the Ruin

Abi Tapia zingt in haar eerste liedje op deze cd dat ze op haar zevende al voor de zevende keer verhuisde om "another State line" over te gaan. Gelukkig is ze uiteindelijk in Austin, Texas terechtgekomen, waar ze nu muziek maakt die ook klinkt alsof hij uit Texas komt, maar die haar gegoten lijkt te zitten. Country, rock, blues, je hoort het allemaal terug in een gedreven vorm van Americana. Toch is Tapia vooral ook een uitstekende singer/songwriter, met persoonlijke, sterke liedjes. Die zingt ze bovendien zelfverzekerd, met een meer dan uitstekende backing band. Zeer uitstekend dus, met als enige opmerking dat ze niet echt een heel sterk eigen geluid heeft. Echt origineel klinkt ze niet, maar is dat een bezwaar als je recht voor zijn raap pure kwaliteit levert?
 
Google translation:
Abi Tapia sings in her first song on this CD to be on its seventh won for the seventh time moved to "another State line" to proceed. Fortunately, she eventually in Austin, Texas, where she now makes music that sounds as if he comes from Texas, but its cast seems to sit. Country, rock, blues, you hear it all back in a passionate form of Americana. But Tapia is also an excellent singer / songwriter, personal, strong songs. That she sings in addition confident, with a more than excellent backing band. Very good so, with the only comment that they are not really a very strong own sound. Genuine original sounds they do not, but is it an objection if you are right to pick pure quality?

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 12:50 PM

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****

"Tapia brims with confidence, her delivery of her country/folk/rock material both bold and nuanced." -John Conquest, 3rd Coast Music 

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 3:58 PM

THE RUN-OFF GROOVE

Abi Tapia's The Beauty In The Ruin (Moonhouse) is the kind of album that would have been perfect if there was a Lilith Fair tour going on this summer. That's not an attempt to limit the potential of this album, in fact I think it's the kind of album that will sit and simmer and only become better in time, but it makes me wish the music industry was different, as it's an album that would have been huge 10 to 15 years ago. But perhaps that's what makes it stand out, the fact that this is a great album and Tapia may have to work four times as hard to get her music and message across.

I want to be proven wrong. Tapia's style of Americana is warm and inviting, as she tells stories about all that life has to offer from her view point. "How It All Started" is about the beginning of one's life, following high school graduation and looking at a car or bus as an opportunity to get out of town and find... something. "Sorry" has her singing about someone who may have done her wrong but knowing (or at least hoping) "that there's a heart beating in your chest/that you would tell the truth". Tapia could easily become a blues belter in the vein of Bonnie Raitt or a less threatening Paula Cole (or at least I don't think Tapia will be doing any beatbox routines anytime soon). Her music is very vivid, and maybe it's because I'm a fan of storytelling songs, I want to join the artist on that journey or at least meet them halfway. It's very accessible to the country and pop markets, and I hope this gets a bit more coverage so people will be able to not only find out about Tapia, but appreciate where she's coming from and where she's about to head in her life and career.  - John Book, The Run-Off Groove
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 6:01 PM

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"In the sensitive singer-songwriters field, a little bit of charm and a knack for melody that goes beyond meditative brooding goes a long, long way. This bodes well for Austin newcomer (by way of New England) Abi Tapia, whose 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. Tapia definitely puts her best foot forward with the winsome, breezily catchy opener "Cried Wolf," but there's plenty more hummable tunes -- both sunny and melancholy -- here to keep the rest of the album afloat, too."

-Richard Skanse, Texas Music Magazine

Monday, June 2nd, 2008 6:04 PM

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"Abi Tapia also just released her sophomore album, One Foot out the Door. The dozen confidently written songs weave tales of a woman assessing life and love with an uncompromising eye and sometimes bittersweet results ("Calamine Lotion," "For a While"). Produced by Chris Gage, One Foot gives Tapia a head start."

-The Austin Chronicle 

Sunday, June 1st, 2008 1:42 PM

Portland Phoenix logo

"Buy her new album, One Foot out the Door. It's full of sweet-but-confident tunes, sounds kind of like Kathleen Edwards, and gives us the chills from time to time ."

The Portland Phoenix 

Saturday, May 31st, 2008 1:45 PM

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Folk singer Abi Tapia may be new to Texas, but she's got the sound of a Hill County Americana local. If I didn't know she recently arrived from Maine, I'd have thought she spent years studying Susan Gibson, Terri Hendrix, and Shelley King.

She's got some high-power help on instrumentation including Kym Warner and Eamon McLoughlin (The Greencards), Glen Fukunaga and Paul Pearcy (Terri Hendrix), and Mike Hardwick (Eliza Gilkyson). But the main focus of this album is Tapia's vocals and songwriting.

Tapia shines bright during a couple of songs that have minimal instrumentation. "The Way To My Heart" which features Tapia's acoustic guitar and McLoughlin's violin is a raw and honest track. The album closer with producer Chris Gage on Dobro, "Somewhere To Go," goes a long way to showcase Tapia's vocals.

The beautiful nomadic ballad "For A While" is one of the standouts with an Allison Kraus and Union Station feel to it. "Cause I was tired for a while / Then I was scared for a while / Then I was in love for a while / With One Foot Out The Door."

"Selective Memory" is one of the more interesting love songs I've heard in a while...with a little dooby dooby do in the middle. The harmonica and piano driven "Nothing to Hold Me Down" rocks along nicely. The obligatory in Texas song "Lone Star" is nice, but seems like an unnecessary addition in this collection of tunes.

Tapia's One Foot Out The Door is a wonderful addition to any CD collection. If you've ever heard of and enjoyed any of the people or bands I've mentioned above, you'll strike gold with this album.

Insite Austin 

Friday, May 30th, 2008 1:47 PM

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Virginia's Reviews
by your humble Webmaster

Abi Tapia
One Foot Out the Door (2005)


If you are one of those people (or love one of those people) who are warm, enthusiastic, quick-to-love, yet keep one foot out the door, you will find this album completely honest and emotionally dead on the mark. Tapia has written songs that are solid anthems to what she calls "loving and leaving." This must surely be the definitive album on the topic, because Tapia a master storyteller on the subject.

The tunes are down-home country, acoustic and easy-going rather than slick and over-produced. Her voice is excellent, even while slightly flawed. The musicians backing her up are top notch and the combination really works.

Every song is worthy of mention on this album, but I want to point out some of the lyrics in particular. Take "Iowa," for example. She says,

I never want to be where I am
I always want to leave
For some greener pastures
Some bluer sea, and
I always have a smile on my face
While I'm driving away...
But I cried the night
That I left Iowa
At the border there's a river
Of my tears.

I've read whole books that make an effort to describe a personality type that Tapia has summed up in that simple lyric. In "Drive Away Slow" she says,

I wish that I could make it easier
I wish that I could make you happier
Oh, babe, I got to go
But I'm going to drive away slow

The album title comes from the song "For a While." The lyric is,

I tried for a while
I was scared for a while
Then I was in love for a while
With one foot out the door

Alejandro Escovedo wrote a lyric that says, "I like you better when you walk away." A similar emotional message, but Tapia's work here is a more complex development on the theme. There is more involved that just the push-pull of loving and leaving. There is also the habit of holding on to something even after it's over—staying friends with former lovers, staying loyal to friends who are far away. In "Big Front Porch," Tapia writes,

Tell me about that boat
The one that carries two
And tell me one more time
How I can always come home to you

You don't have to be interested in the subject of these songs to enjoy this album. The songs are appealing, well sung and performed, good old roots country style music that can be danced to, sung along with, or just played as a gentle and relaxing part of your day.
 

Friday, September 1st, 2006 3:01 PM

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Word of the week:
"Wanderlusty" -- Stephen ("Truthiness") Colbert has nothing on Austin singer-songwriter Abi Tapia in the coined-words department. She calls herself a "wanderlusty songwriter," a great handle that suggests a nomadic life filled with music and sex.

Friday, July 15th, 2005 1:52 PM

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Around the County

Supper ends up with entertaining evening at the Pernsteiners’ lovely home

Leesville & Belmont News

By SANDI GANDRE

Friday evening we enjoyed supper at Monthalia with the Men’s Brotherhood serving some delicious green beans, along with lasagna and salad. Different ladies made the cakes. Ellen Lancaster made one in lieu of Carolyn and Betty. I can only tell you about her carrot cake as it was the only one I got as a part of my meal. It was scrumptious. I did take a bite of an orange cake. It was good, too.

We were delighted to be able to go to Lisa and Bill Pernsteiner’s home after the supper. The county road to their home has some interesting trees planted in the fence line. Mr. Pernsteiner said that there were eucalyptus trees. They were interspersed with pine trees along the drive. They purchased the property of the late Cecil V. Hagen. Bill said that apparently Cecil had been in New Zealand with one of his oil ventures and brought them back to be planted on his property here in Texas.

Bill and Lisa have completely renovated Mr. Hagen’s home. Lisa did a great deal of this by herself and with the contractors she hired as Bill was back in Seattle, WA still settling the business transactions there. They have two children, Casey and Stuart who have settled into the schools and community as well. Lisa did such a magnificent job with the double fireplace that is between the kitchen and the dining room. There originally was a wood cook stove on the kitchen side where she now has a beautiful wood heater. The kitchen is completely updated and has a very efficient layout.

Lisa had made around fifteen to sixteen desserts from Strawberry Cheesecake, Pretzel Sticks, Ice Cream Roll Cake, to Lemon and Apple Tarts. There were also several chocolate concoctions for those who cannot live without chocolate. I am told that Lisa does not necessarily like to cook, but she does like to bake. It shows in her artistic confections.

We migrated back and forth from the house to the beautiful gazebo. It has a small stage on one end, with ceiling fans to help keep you cool on the hot Texas summers. It has a changing room/bathroom as the pool is right next to it. There are also small kitchen facilities available. We all brought lawn chairs to sit and listen to the main even of the evening.

Abi Tapia, a singer and songwriter living in Austin was engaged to bring the evening’s entertainment. She was joined by Bonnie Whitmore playing the bass guitar, and Jeff Tveraas playing the acoustic guitar along with the slide bottle. Bonnie and Jeff are both singer/songwriters and they have web sites giving their engagement dates and records. Abi’s web site is www.abitapia.com.

I find it interesting that Abi was born in Alabama and lived there for fifteen years, but then claims to be from all over, but Maine, mostly. She went back to entertain there and nearly froze, stating that she would take the good old Texas heat any day. Abi is a one-person performer. She travels to dates across the United States living out of her car sometimes. Her car was robbed of its contents one time, taking a big notebook of songs she had written. I would have cried, too. That is indeed a great loss.

Abi’s songs mostly come from the heart. She has a fresh lovely voice with quite a range going from somewhat of a medium soprano voice to a few very high notes that blend perfectly. She also plays the harmonica interludes between her guitar playing and singing. The songs she sings are beautiful. You see this pert young girl with a somewhat freckled face, her curly hair tamed by putting it in braids, bouncing up and down, and making beautiful eye contact with the audience. She puts her whole heart into her playing, laughs at her mistakes, and hopes that she is not being bombarded by crickets or junebugs.

She has produced two CDs. The last one is entitled “One Foot Out the Door”. Abi settled on this title because she said that it seemed like she would get almost out of Maine but had to keep going back. However, she persisted and now loves her place in Austin among the other musical talents that Austin has developed. The song “For a While” somewhat describes Abi’s problem. “I guess this town was never where I wanted to be/chose the sea/It should’ve been the sky/I figured I was here, I might as well give it my best/So I made a nest/and I tried to fly/But all that trying never got me very far/It shouldn’t be this hard/Now I know why.”

Abi has been bitten by the country music bug and Texas. So she wrote the song, “Lone Star”. It says “I got no one to keep me warm in this cold weather/So I’m going back to Texas ‘cause if I have to be alone/Well at least I’ll be a Lone Star.” Now if Abi doesn’t get this one to be a hit, then someone like Gretchen Wilson needs to record it and make it a hit for her. It is snappy, bold, country and Texan. So we welcome Abi to Texas and remember if you need to learn more about Abi or like her music, go to her web site www.abitapia.com. It tells you all about her first CD, about how to obtain “One Foot Out the Door” and gives you an inside look at Abi from a journal she kept plus pictures, and upbeat anecdotes.

We are certainly glad that Lisa and Bill Pernsteiner engaged her to entertain for us and gladly paid our contribution to her income and bought her CD. We signed up for email at the desk manned by two beautiful young ladies, Erin Allen and Casey Pernsteiner. Then we all mingled, enjoyed each other’s company, and got to have items autographed and had a one-on-one chat with our entertainers. It was just a beautiful delightful evening

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