Fred Abong of New Orleans is a musician after my own heart. He is a DIY guy as far as music – from the song writing to the production. Fear Pageant is Abong’s latest album, which makes for a total of seven albums. It is the perfect selection for the album of the week.
The folk-rock sound of Abong is just what we need for a weekend morning with a good cup of coffee and a quiet house. It’s off-beat and a little quirky but in the best, most introspective way.
“This album started with the love of a new guitar I had recently purchased – a gold Gretsch Rancher Penguin. As with all my guitars, I immediately adjusted it to baritone tuning and began writing. Pretty quickly, I had enough songs for a record. I knew these songs were going to get a fuller production treatment than previous efforts though. The main reason for this is that, like a good commie, I was finally in possession of the means of production, having been gifted a Mac Workbook, upon which to load my DAW of choice. With the aid of a keyboard MIDI controller, I could finally do everything myself, which has always been my dream. Fear Pageant is thus my first attempt at a truly DIY solo effort,” says Fred Abong.
“Outside of these technical details, the songs are of course rooted in the same existential and romantic hangups as usual, i.e., in an ongoing anxiety about my tenuous place in the world and in the lives of intimates. Taken together, the subject matter of the songs struck me as a kind of never-ending personal drama, one that others might also identify with, of course, but one that feels incredibly ostentatious and elaborate ‘on the inside’. Like a one-man Fear Pageant, in other words.”
Fun fact: Fred has a PhD in Humanities. He was Professor Abong until he returned to a music career. If he is a DIY guy in other aspects, I bet he could sew the elbow patches on his own tweed jacket.
If you are a fan Bob Dylan, Elliot Smith or Nick Drake, then you will probably enjoy the Fear Pageant album. The songs that I liked from the album are “Hungry Ghost,” “Shadows,” and “Sailor.”
‘Fear Pageant’ will be released across music platforms, including Bandcamp, where the album will be available on vinyl or as a digital download.