John Calvin Abney’s folk music bloomed at the Trumpet Blossom Café

Folk singer John Calvin Abney performed, following Nalani Proctor, who showed her talent by playing the keyboard with her toes, at the Trumpet Blossom Café on Oct. 23.

Ashley Dawson, Arts Reporter

In the soft pink light of the organic-food venue Trumpet Blossom Café, Nalani Proctor took the stage with her guitar in hand, a keyboard on the ground in front of her, and a laptop on the stand to her left.

The night began with Proctor’s song, “Mighty Bird.” 

“The mighty birds swooped down in threes to carry away fear and its deeds,” she sang.

Proctor spoke about her past experiences, sharing a stage with headlining act, John Calvin Abney, seven years prior. Abney sat directly in the audience, supporting his fellow musician. 

Proctor then promoted crowd participation in a round form of the song, “Ghost of John.” She began to teach the crowd the words and rhythm, then asked everyone to sing with her. 

She ended her set with a couple more songs, one where she played the keyboard with her toes and played the tambourine on her foot. 

The crowd showed their appreciation for her unique musical abilities and smooth, gentle voice with rounds of applause and cheering. 

Soon after, Abney finished a glass of beer and climbed up on stage, thanking Proctor for her performance and reminiscing about their past experiences playing together. He was dressed casually, sporting a khaki colored jacket layered over a black, long-sleeve shirt and blue jeans. 

Abney then announced his current solo tour, which spans over nine weeks and 50 individual shows. He opened his set with his 2019 release, “I Just Want to Feel Good.”

“It just came out on CD and vinyl everywhere, and by everywhere, I mean I have to bring it to you,” Abney said after the close of his first song. “But I’ll bring it to you wherever you are.”

Abney’s music is indie-folk with traces of rock ‘n’ roll in his raspy voice and fast-paced guitar riffs.

Pulling out a harmonica headset, Abney attempted to remove a hat that was not on his head. Laughing, he explained his habit of removing his hat before putting on the headset. 

“It’s a ghost hat. There’s nothing there,” he said.

Abney created a positive, joking environment in the cafe with his soft music, entertaining filler stories, and gentle voice. 

Following the concert, Abney spent time walking around the cafe socializing with audience members and thanking everybody for coming.

Although Abney played only his guitar and harmonica at the show, he also plays an abundance of other instruments, including piano, guitar, bass, pedal steel, and drums. 

“Basically all the instruments you need to play in a rock-and-roll band,” he said in an interview following the performance.

Abney has many goals regarding his music career, but his biggest goal is in the interest of his fans.

“I feel like I would be completely fulfilled if I could just bring some comfort to people who need it without any thrills or gimmicks, just being able to sing something to somebody and help them feel better about whatever they were dealing with,” he said.