Abby's Southern Rock and Country roots come from growing up singing in Texas. After moving to California she became well integrated in the California Country Scene playing with singer-songwriters Dave Bernal and Danny Hamilton. After several southeast tours and three album releases of her own, she has moved to Nashville. Since then she's been touring regularly, recording, and performing along side several up and coming Alternative Country and Americana acts. Classic Rock, Country, and Soul Music are the primary influences on her work.
Marshall Tucker Band-Saint Rocke, Hermosa
Steppenwolf- Saint Rocke, Hermosa
Heart-Honda Center, Anaheim
Steve Miller Band- Honda Center, Anaheim
Earth Wind and Fire -Honda Center, Anaheim
Dana Fuchs- Saint Rocke, Hermosa Beach
She's a new kind of Americana artist - young, thoughtful, multi-talented and confident. With her debut radio single ‘Take Time’ running up the charts, Abby Hankins is in a unique position to re-define the genre.
Generally speaking, Americana musicians are highly dependent on strong lyrics and pure musicianship to succeed in the market, and Abby Hankins is well-positioned to excel in this regard. Perhaps that's why critics had this to say about the Americana artist's award-winning work: ‘Abby Hankins has an international-caliber voice - the performance and production talent behind her work demands it - but the songwriting most impresses here; Mystic is one of the best country-infused Americana albums around.’ Now that her new radio single ‘Take Time’ is catching fire on radio, it's clear that we'll be hearing a lot more of her. Reporter Lauren Scott recently caught up with Abby Hankins to learn more about this intriguing new Americana artist and what inspires her to create her music.
LAUREN: Let's just get this out in the open- What is the craziest thing that has happened to you in your music career?
ABBY HANKINS: Besides my band getting into a full on brawl fight after one of our shows, I would say I’ve been pretty lucky. Needless to say, Music is a strange business, and you have to be careful. Like if someone says, please come check out my studio, and you go to a True Detective style Horror House, you have to question why you ever left the safety of your own home. On a positive note, I’ve had the privilege of opening for Heart, Steve Miller Band and Earth, Wind, and Fire at the Honda Center in Anaheim as part of a fundraiser, and those are some of my best memories onstage.
LAUREN: Your song ’Take Time’ is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
ABBY HANKINS: It’s surreal. I just smile from ear to ear because it’s my dream becoming a reality. My first reaction is pure joy, I would have to say.
LAUREN: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
ABBY HANKINS: Well, it’s a funny story. I used to work for long time talent manager, Ron Stone. And he showed me a video of Rickie Lee Jones performing a version of Sympathy for the Devil. It was so raw and improvised, so felt, instead of rehearsed and it seemed to spill out of her instead of being performed and I thought, well, that’s creativity. It’s not refined performance. It’s the essence of your being allowed to flow out of you without restraint.
LAUREN: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
ABBY HANKINS: I always had a lot of feelings, ones I couldn’t express and that always left a little hole in me. I went away to college, I had not made friends yet, and was locked away in my dorm room with quite a bit of marijuana, and a guitar I didn’t know quite how to play. I always had a tumultuous relationship with my first boyfriend who was also a musician and songwriter. He was the first one I really consciously wrote something about. Later I realized I had been writing songs since the 4th grade. My first one was called. “I Like to Wear Yellow”, and it was about wanting to be different and not being afraid to stand out, so I think songwriting is always something that has been in me.
LAUREN: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…)
ABBY HANKINS: I would have to say all of the above, I love to create a happy environment for my band mates. But I also get crazy, about visual things mostly, how I get represented. I am passionate about not sexing it up for the camera or using my sexuality for advancement of my music. It’s too easy, and so overplayed, and I don’t think it does women any good. I just want to be a musician, I don’t want to be a ‘woman’ in music. Does that make sense?