July 1, 2009: Roy Abrams releases his first
solo album ... after 7 years of thinking about it.
A former member of '80s power-pop band, The Wind, Roy Abrams spent the bulk of the '90s in various behind-the-scenes roles on Long Island's original music scene. As a contributing writer for various regional, national and international publications, Abrams cast a literary spotlight on the glittering array of musical talent whose potential to break a scene was further evidenced by the success of The Island Zone, a weekly radio show which featured "60 minutes of the very best of Long Island's original, unsigned music." Created, produced, and hosted by Abrams, The Island Zone aired on WLIR-FM from September '96 through August '97 and WBLI-FM from March '98 through April '99, making the transition to one of the first independent Internet-based radio shows in July '99.
As the new millennium approached, Abrams decided to once again focus on his own music. In 2001, he began work on his first solo album at Tom Cavanagh's Bent Pussycat Studios in Levittown, New York. Recorded during April 2001-February 2002, Abrams remembers the sessions as "one of the happiest musical experiences of my life." Marking a vivid transition between the intricately-crafted songs of The Wind and a more experimental, atmospheric approach, Abrams cites "luck, sheer accident, and eerie coincidence" as co-contributors to the creative process. "I never originally intended to release the album," he continues. "I was satisfied with having done my best (flaws and all!) and having given the songs a proper home, even though some of my friends clearly thought I was being stupid by keeping the album on the shelf."
As John Lennon once sang, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
"As a musician/songwriter, I got to realize some of my major childhood dreams," he reflects. "However, over time, I realized that there was more to the picture ... a whole lot more." In 2005, Abrams went back to college and earned his master's degree in Special Education. In 2008, he became a dual-certified English and Special Education teacher at the secondary level. "The opportunity to encourage young people to pursue their own dreams is far more fulfilling than any combination of musical experiences I've had in the past," he says. "Some people my age say that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Working with young people all day, I respectfully disagree. My students give me hope for the future."
So, as the 2008-2009 school year is now officially over, thanks to the encouragement of many of his students, Roy Abrams is finally releasing the album from its seven-year slumber. "Whatever happens, it's up to the music," Abrams says. "Hopefully, it'll find its place somewhere."
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
TOM CAVANAGH & BENT PUSSYCAT STUDIOS,
DAN COSCINO (A MUSICAL WIZARD),
AND MY STUDENTS - YOU'RE THE BEST!