whats goin' on...

That Girl. A slice of Thomas Rhett meets....? 

I wrote "THAT GIRL"  (original title was "She's Going Home with Me" ) after hearing what I thought was one of the better songs I've heard in a while hit the radio. It was a Thomas Rhett song and I was determined to try to launch some of my songs into this genre. After building the idea around being lucky enough and proud of taking that same beautiful girl home each night, I sent it to Daniel Dennis Productions in Nashville to get a look at it and we agreed it needed a few pop elements added to it.  He reached out to David Dorn and Jon Shaw who helped sculpt the overall sound and we ended up with a pretty cool vibe.

But it didn't stop there. I called my buddy, (and soon-to-be-co-writer) Craig Pruett up a few days before heading to Nashville to finish this song and I was like, "man I've got this song that would be perfect for you to come and help me with". Keep in mind, I have known Craig for a hundred years and knew exactly what he is capable of bringing to the table and if there was a song that he could help with, it was this one.  It was missing a functional bridge and something else but couldn't put my finger on it.  On the way to Nashville, we had the bridge finished in about 10 minutes and had the harmonies planned out and thought we had a good thing.  Buuuutttt. It was still missing something. While in the studio working on vocals, I noticed Craig over on the couch jotting down some ideas. So I joined him and realized he was working on a rap. Now, keep in mind, Im not the BIGGEST country purist, but I am a solid 90s Country fella. This was going to be a stretch, but we pressed forward and decided to put a rap in a country/pop song. 

Minutes later, Craig was in the booth as I came over the room mic in his headphones, "Dude, don't be offended if I don't like this."  Within a few takes, Craig had cemented something that was cool enough to make a couple of old guys revisit their days of "The Vocal Boyz". LOL  (some of you will know what this is) SEE BELOW (Left to right, Craig Pruett, Jay Stewart, Kevin Gillilan, Robert Abernathy, Roger Van GIlder)

Produced, mixed and mastered by Daniel Dennis. David Dorn on the Keys and John Shaw on guitar. Craig Pruett's vocal on the "that girl" phrase you hear as well as harmony and the rap.  Seriously. I hope you enjoy this song. "That Girl" has been getting more solid attention on Spotify, iTunes etc.. than any other on the Album so far. Please take the time to listen, share and enjoy.

See the links below

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It's FINALLY here. You can now buy "You Can't Have My Boat" 

1. Listen

2. BUY (.99)

3. Share

I know it's easier to stream.  I'm guilty too. Did you know though what streaming pays the songwriters? For every song streamed, royalties are due to the person(s) behind the creative work of the music. In short. If all 2800 people on my friends list streamed this song, I would make a whopping $1.96 on Spotify.  Read More about it HERE.   Apple Music pays a little better. 

Now that CDs are becoming obsolete, its just hard to make great music as a songwriter and expect big $$$. Its just not going to happen.  Artists/songwriters can sell their songs on iTunes and Google Play or Amazon and there is a little revenue.

So with that. I give you this newest release.  Lets at least make it chart. I am including all the links below. All I ask is that you:

1. Listen

2. Buy (.99)

3. Share! Use this link: 

OR for iTunes, share this link 

"You Can't Have My Boat" coming Friday--and I'm going to request your help! Part 1 

Making music has been a part of me since I was the okayest 10th grade guitarist ever in Southside, Alabama. Today, I'm still the okayest guitarist ever, but since those days, I've ,managed to have written well over a hundred songs, most of which has never made it past my own personal voice recorder. Out of those hundreds, I probably have maybe 15 that are cut-worthy by some B-List Artists. Maybe 7-8 that could be cut by artists today that you hear on the radio. But I have a few that I feel may be the one to get more of what I do on the map. This song, "You Can't Have My Boat", is pushing that once distant thought to the fore front.

A few months ago at the end of one of my 7th grade classes, I threw out some ideas of song titles/hooks to a few students to see what would stick. I can't remember who it was, or how it came to surface, but the phrase "You Can't Have My Boat" stuck out like a sore thumb.  If you say it in the most country dialect possible, there is something about it that sticks to you. 

After weeks of letting them down everyday of walking in the classroom without a finished song, I sat down to write the song.  I had no idea what on earth "You Can't Have My Boat" would be about. Pretty soon I had a chorus,  a melody and a catchy little childish "Na, na, na, na, na na...You Can't Have My Boat" hook completed. It needed a bridge, It needed a little something else. I showed it to a co-writer friend of mine, Durand Robinson, to see if it was something worth pushing further down the road and his reaction was, "I think there's a hit there".

Durand and I sat down one afternoon and spit-shined this song to a shiny new piece of modern Country music.  After passing it around and through different friends of ours and musicians within our immediate circle, we all came to the conclusion we needed a little something more done to the demo.  I sent the song to Josh Bright Productions, who took the work that we did on it, along with the guitar parts added by John Shaw (Josh Turner) and made it into one hell of a fun,  modern country song. 

How can you help? Share this song when it arrives Friday. I really think we have something here. Without going into great detail, it has caught some ears within the Nashville circuits enough to meander its way into territory new to me. If enough people make this .99 purchase, it will chart on iTunes. I feel confident that it has that potential if enough folks get behind it. 

How else can you help? Are you a music video producer? If so, when you hear this song on Friday, there is no way you cant hear it and not see the funniest 3 minute movie take place in your head. Lets cut this video on a boat and put it out there!

Part 2 Wednesday....What in the hell is this song about anyway?

"Invisible" by Robert Abernathy & Vivi Abernathy 

Where do I begin? Maybe with the hook-

There's an image in the mirror

Broken as it may be,

Says I'm not so, not so

Invisible to me.

And yes, that's my 12 year old daughter, Vivi,  singing those lyrics. This song simply recognizes what its like to be ignored, forgotten, excluded, neglected. And to a middle schooler (those I deal with directly on a daily basis) those things are just as bad as being bullied. Its a form of bullying. Its humiliating to a kid to be alone at recess, in a cafeteria. Its horrifying to be the new kid in school or to be excluded from a group.  And the effect it has down the road can shape a person's confidence as they move into adulthood. 

We had fun shooting this video. The students you see here, all did their part in making this video feel very genuine. From the laughter, to the more somber moments, you get the feel of a middle school kid in action.  

Also, as songwriters and artists, we make virtually no money on Youtube or streaming. After you watch the video, please download it and own the song. .99 and its yours! Download it here

I hope you enjoy this Video. Please share.

The Evolution of a Song  

"Got Nothin' on You" Written by Robert Abernathy.  Release scheduled 1/28/2019

Not every song transitions from a general idea to a finished product as easy as many people think.  They can rarely be a simple as an hour from start to finish or, like "Got Nothin' on You", can be are a culmination of ideas, scribblings, collaborations that are two years in the making. Yes, this song took me two years to finish.  Not that I breathed over it daily, but the idea to "Got Nothin' on You" was one that I believed in from the start. I poured lots of time in this baby. Fortunately, I documented its changes along the way. And for no reason other than I just find it fascinating to go back and see how it has changed, I would love to share it with you.

I was on my way back from playing a show in Indiana back in May of 2017 and I found myself humming a melody, as I do many times on long trips. My voice recorder is FILLED with song hooks phrases, melodies, beats and thoughts that have originated from the drivers seat of my vehicle on similar trips. Some are incredibly amusing. They are mumblings, off-key notes with phrases that don't make a bit of sense and many times just vocal junk. But in May of 2017 the thought of "She Ain't Got Nothin' on You" just sounded like a hook people can relate to. 

So. I began this little thought process and hummed (including an imaginary guitar part) my idea into my phone's voice recorder. Version 1 HERE 

Note: Don't make fun. I was doing 80 mph somewhere in Northwest Tennessee doing my best to make guitar sounds as I heard them in my head. 

I tabled this song for a while (almost a year)  and revisited it HERE-VERSION 2 in April 2018. Note the addition of actual words. The melody was not exactly what I had sung in the car and the lyrics I ended up scrapping for the most part. But the idea began to have some roots. 

In Nov 2018, I dug it back out of the archives and began to toy around with it some more. I wanted to give it a bit of an upgrade with the melody to make it a little more catchy. So. I proceeded to fumble my way though a few different ideas and migrated toward THIS ONE--VERSION 3.

By December, I had fine tuned a few of the lyrical issues I had with the second verse and proceeded to create a video of VERSION 4 Below.

I realized I had a melody that was catchy enough to make a full length recording

 I took this to Prime Cut Recording in Nashville once again with Producer Daniel Dennis in early January and we began building this song.

Drums...

Bass...

So. Here is a merged version the song in its original acoustic format and the final product. The official video is scheduled to be released Monday Jan 28th, 2019.

And you can hear the entire finished version of "Got Nothin' on You" Here!

Single, "Dont Even Put that Dress On" Pre-release starts today 

PRE-RELEASE TODAY. What does that mean? You get this song for a whopping .99 cents. This song. This is one of my babies. Go to this hidden link:  ROBERT'S NEW SINGLE and pre-order this. (The official release date is October 6th across ALL digital Platforms.) This is a digital release only. The only place you can get a hard copy will be though Amazon on October 6th.

Now. For the background on this song.  I wanted to create a sexy, in your face kind of melting hot groove. I wanted to cross the line between country and a slice of R&B. Enough to blur the lines and bring in a new audience.  Let me be clear on the lyrics-this song is an adult song. It was written from a couple's perspective,  and even more so, couples WITH KIDS---Couples that struggle sometimes to find that place where you are alone. Some of you will no doubt relate to this. 

With multiple references to "Its finally just me and you" and "Ive been waiting so long just to get you alone", I am sure you could draw from this....this guy has been waiting on this. Though we never REALLY know if she puts the dress on, use your imagination. And If I ever shoot a video for this song, you can help me capture what you see in your head.

I dont want to ruin the song's message by spilling it all, but you can follow this little sexual groove down to the note that this could be an "in the kitchen-turn the lights down-dance with your spouse" kind of song.  

You can hear this song LIVE this weekend as the band and I will be performing live originals at the Alabama Fair in Pelham, AL Oct 1st  at 2:00. Go to www.alabamafair.org for more information.

I hope you enjoy the song.Its only .99 cents. Help this song surge to the top of the iTunes singles chart!  and SHARE!

Alabama Fair Oct 1st and an Interview with Craig Pruett 

Lots going on in the upcoming weeks.

Its been pretty cool to have the opportunity to be playing at the Alabama State Fair. Its coming up this week, Oct 1st at 2:00 pm at the Oak Mountain Fairgrounds. I received an invitation from Outlaw Nation who hosts these events across the country. Very exciting stuff. 

You can check out the entire band as we have performed a little switcheroo on the instruments. Moving from the drums to vocals, percussion and guitar will be longtime friend and musician, Craig Pruett. And replacing him on the drums will be Kerry Mitchell from Tuscaloosa, AL.  The change has added a new dimension to the band and you can sure tell the difference! We will be performing most of our original songs on Oct 1st. You will be sure to enjoy it.

Speaklng of Craig Pruett, I had a chance to catch up with him yesterday after rehearsal to get his thoughts on life, music and...the color yellow. See the full interview below.

When did you begin taking an interest into performing?

I really got an interest in performing while in high school. I took a choral class that Rick Weaver taught. Mr. Weaver was an old school blues musician and he was really cool.  What I thought might be a boring choir type experience actually turned out to be Mr. Weaver teaching is how to actually sing well and correctly. We didn't sing old boring songs-we sang the good stuff! Old and new, but all of them were great songs. 

Mr. Weaver could sing with this old school blues style voice that sounded very close to the great Michael McDonald. He inspired me. Eventually, we were allowed to try out for a solo on a new song. The song, I still remember to this day was Here's My Heart. 

I tried out and won the solo lead. After singing to an audience and receiving honest compliments-I realized that I loved seeing people be moved by something that I could do. The powerful feelings I experienced when people responded to our music changed me forever. I've never stopped pursuing that response from people. 

Most people are unaware that you were Mr. Boy Band Heartthrob back in the early 90s.  Describe your days as a musician/entertainer with the Vocal Boyz in a hundred words or less.

I switched schools my senior year of high school and walked into the smokeneck world of Southside. Of course, to continue my path of music-I joined the coral class. I met a few guys that would eventually become my best friends and brothers. Sitting in a small classroom off of the main coral auditorium-Things came together musically and a group was born. 

We grew as a group with new guys joining in and quickly evolved into a real life boy band. 

All of us felt a calling to do contemporary Christian music and that is what our direction was. With Inspiration drawn from great vocal bands like Acapella, AVB and For Him-we became our own style of contemporary artists. It was the most amazing years of my life. I grew as a singer and performer. I traveled the world (in my eyes at the time) and met wonderful people. Learned the harsh realities of the music business and the abundant awards of touching people's lives. All along-building bonds with guys that will forever hold a place in my heart. 

You are locked in a room for eternity, and given only an ipod with your musical influences. Who are they?

 

As a young boy, I was often impressed by the newest rock bands and I would often stand in my bedroom with a killer guitar that I had carved out of cardboard, which I spent an hour coloring and painting on to make it the most kick butt shredder ever made. 

I would slap an eight track cassette of Foreigner in and blast music while dancing around playing my cardboard instrument and singing every word. 

I grew up listening to greats like Journey, Motley Crue, Twisted Sister and the likes. 

I always gravitated too the likes of Stevie Wonder and the Jackson Five (old albums that my parents had). 

For me to list the major influences of music in my life would require a book. I was fortunate to be introduced to a wide variety of music styles and genres. ALL of them have influenced who I am today as a singer and musician. 

When asked "what is your personal playlist like?" My response is always "kinda like a bipolar personality. Ya never know what will play next." 

Get paid $100 and play with a band or $99.50 to play a Duo. Whats your choice?

The drive and power brought on by a full band is often the most exciting experience a musician singer can have. With all the elements coming together, it just seems to move me to another place. 

I have to admit that I believe the duo set seems to be more of a personal, intimate setting that allows two musicians to work at a very raw, stripped down version of music. IMO this is needed to keep some of the wonderful purities of music thriving. 

Lets say hell is full of only one style of music. Whats playing down there?

Prolly be Gangster Rap at this point in my life and there is only so much true blue grass I can take. 

I met Robert in coral class my senior year of high school. He and some guys were playing some music and singing. I joined in and we've been friends since. 

Whos got your back?

In music and life-my family have all supported me (my wife, children, parents, cousins). I have some really great friends that have always encouraged me and showed up at many shows over the years, as well. 

I don't think anyone has ever spoken a negative word about my love and desire to sing and perform. They have all accepted what I do for a career and have always been there for me, even at my worst. 

What would be the title of your Autobiography?

Title would be "Literally Analytical" 

Who do you compare the Robert Abernathy Band to?

Really hard to label. I see all of the various influences of music in each band members lives. It's like a mix of Southern Rock, Country, R&B, Blues, Jazz, Pop and Rock. Blended together for a pretty unique musical experience. RAB has a little something for everyone. People have at least one or two songs in a set that they really love, even if they don't like the others lol. 

You are on a long drive along to...somewhere. Radios broken. No cell service. What are you thinking about?

Well, it's kind of what my autobiography would be titled. I am very analytical, therefore I spend alone time pondering on deep thoughts. I can travel through deep meaningful thoughts only to arrive at thoughts of completely random and probably useless information. 

I try to think about things in a positive position and work threw my feelings about life. 

Favorite 80s Jam

The 80's were a great time. Though, some of the most awkward times as far as music goes lol. There were some great pop songs and great rock songs. Some were terrible as well. I was in to the hair band rock as well as the pop scene. Anything from Michael Jackson or New Edition is great to me. I get a rush from all the rock power ballads as well. Hard to pick a favorite! 

Favorite 90s Jam

Wow! The good ol'days of the 90's. This was a time of great music and a transition out of the 80's. Rap took on a new image and became rather popular. Rock became darker and heavier-and it was good! Country music developed a new sound and people like Garth Brooks took over the world. So much great music was produced in the 90's and all of it will forever be an influence to me. Absolutely no way to pick a favorite. 

You are now President. How do you plan on fixing us all?

1st-Education. I would make education changes. The first elementary years would remain the same. Kids learn basics. Later in middle school-a child would be given the opportunity to study a specific career field while still learning basics. High school would be more of a career prep type education where the student would spend time learning skills and trades to better equip them for an actual job or a specific job of their choosing. The biggest change would be a continued education. If a student graduates high school and desires more education, training or skill development-then we would develop a new and different level of education. No, not a college or university. A funded education school that allows for anyone to attend to learn more. One even adults could return to for betterment in a career set. Call it post college or next phase education. A level of education that is a lower level than a college or university, but carries accredited assistance for those that choose to better themselves yet can't obtain a college level education. 

2nd-Employment. Employment with better pay for those willing to work is key to moving people out of poverty. Poverty is the root of many of America's issues. 

3rd-Government handouts has to end. It is not the governments responsibility to feed and support a family. It is the governments responsibility to protect Americans safety. 

This goes deeper, but it would take a book to write. Don't take it at face value, because there are a lot of things to address in this area. A people can't become dependent on the government to feed them. This falls back to employment and poverty. 

4th- Democrats, Republicans, etc. should all go away. I would push for a unified system of Americans where the people are choosing who they want as leaders. Where the people vote and control more than we have today. Making it about the people and not a party. 

There are some many areas to discuss when dealing with how our country is run. We all have opinions, but in the long run-I want to see America be the greatest of all nations with a unified people in all facets of life. All together, living life and being great together. 

What's your biggest accomplishment?

Being a father! There is nothing that requires more integrity, commitment and dedication. It is the most honorable thing I have been given the opportunity to do. There isn't much that even comes close. 

Lastly, being a songwriter and getting your message across can sometimes be difficult. Describe the color yellow to somebody who is blind. 

It's like stepping through an opening from a cooled room and you feel the warm sun kiss your forehead. That tingly sensation that you feel on your skin. It's the scent of a woman who brushes behind you, close enough for the spring wind to gently move her hair, picking up the smell of beauty and it reaches  out, grabbing your senses. The scent almost becomes a physical vapor that lures you to turn, entranced at the moment and controlled by your senses. It's the soft sound of birds chirping in the morning. It's the laughter of a child who found humor in his father tossing him high into the air on a beautiful day. Though the child fears the toss, he knows that the landing is safe. 

It is the unique feeling when you run your fingers across the ground to find a stem and you follow that stem upwards finding the masterfully shaped, intricate design of beautiful flowers petals. You lean in and inhale. That is yellow, my friend.

 

Deep stuff, Mr. Pruett. Well Said.

 

Take Me Back (Father's Day Song)  

The last song on the album, "Take me Back" is quite simply about my dad and the desire to close my eyes every so often and just go back in time. (The link to the song is at the bottom of this page)

Like many people, it just takes a trip back to my childhood neighborhood every so often to catch a glimpse of a memory, or sound that still echoes from your past. My childhood was filled with memories of dirt clod battles with the neighbors, a backyard turned into a baseball field, Sunday afternoon fall football games with all the neighborhood kids, and squirrel hunting with a pellet gun.  Life was simple growing up on Abernathy Circle. My grandmother and aunt lived next door, my uncle just around the corner.  We had an orchard of plum trees that would rival most anyone's. My brother and sister and I survived skinned up knees, accidental baseball bats to the head, chipped teeth, the occasional fist fight with a neighbor and broken bones---all casualties of war that came from Abernathy Circle.

My Parents didnt have all the money in the world, but they managed to give us more than life without cell phones, streaming video, audio and all the information in the world at your fingertips.

They gave us memories.  

I am honored that my dad (and mom) were quiet rockstars as young parents.  Dad worked in the bakery, painted houses, roofed houses, cut firewood, he was a steel worker, a landscaper, and for many years worked at Goodyear Tire and Rubber. He never stopped. (and still hasnt to this day) He taught me the value of hard work by his own example and even more so by including me in the "how to's" of fixing things around the house (without the help of Youtube.)

He didnt make the front page of the news as a father, but he did to me. Mostly because he was just there. He was present. He participated in my life. He made it to my baseball games, my football games and even the wrestling matches that didnt turn out so well. He was present. God knows I didnt always agree with him. I hated my early curfew. I didnt enjoy punishment for my adolescent crimes, but he was present to make sure I learned from them.  As an adult, my life has meandered to different paths over the years. (Even a marriage or two....) From teaching and coaching to chasing my musical dreams as a singer/songwriter/entertainer- he is still an active participant and has always been the "Best Man".

"Take me Back" is also about validating my dad's fatherhood to his own father.  You see, his dad died just a few days before I was born. (which gives meaning in the song to "a life had ended, one begun...")  I never got to meet my grandfather. And I am sure there were holes in my dads life as a young adult trying to raise 3 children. He didnt have a father to turn to and ask "How do I.....?" 

As the song says 

"And if Grandpa could only see, How my daddy sure loved me", He would see a job well done. I hope I can be the father to mine, the way he was to me. 

Happy Fathers Day dad.

*Fun fact. This song was recorded live at Moonlight on the Mountain in Hoover AL

**Fun Fact #2. Dad was in the audience to hear this

 

First Time Feelin' (Song #7)  

Waylon Jennings once said, "Country music isn't a guitar, it isn't a banjo, it isn't a melody, it isn't a lyric. It's a feeling."

One of the strongest elements of a good song is creating an image that most everyone can relate to. To create a feeling. I cant say that "Watch me Whip and Nae Nae" ever made anyone go "Hey, thats a story about me!".  So instead of writing about a new dance groove that I routinely use around the house, I decided to write about a feeling that is familiar to most everyone (I hope).  The first love feeling, or first kiss, or a wedding day.  Whatever that moment was that gave you butterflies. (My wife sill gives them to me by the way) They come in moments that exist outside of the daily routines of a busy life, or during the work week. They can come in times where you close your eyes and revisit those things that first caught your eye. Like this random pic here I had to take the other day: (she doesnt like this pic, but I love it)



This is the song that started the ball rolling on this project.  I was listening to Keith Urban one day and realized that his most successful songs had a familiar theme to them. Their tempo. While some would argue that Keith Urban is a brand of country that exists outside of traditional country, I disagree. The dude can play a guitar and can write some great songs. I sat down one day and tried to summon my "Inner Keith" and ended up with a melody that was enough to get me back into a 2 year writing drought.  

Jonathan Laird took took this song and created a cool hook you can hear in the intro and outro and helped make it into a pretty cool tune. Im proud of this one and I hope you enjoy it.

Please take the time to follow me on Spotify here, and listen to First Time Feelin'

*Interesting note: This is Alex Mason's favorite song on the album. 
** If you listen closely, you can hear me singing this song.
:)

 

Call Him a Sinner (Call Him a Saint)  

My musical flavors have always been diverse to a degree. I wanted one that kind of touched on an identity that i could call my own.  I put the guitar in "Drop D" one day and this song practically wrote itself. It has flavors of Chris Stapleton, Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, David Allen Coe and Charlie Daniels. You can hear it all in this song. In order to produce the sound I wanted, I needed to tell a story of anguish.

This song is about a man who lives in the eyes of many as a "Sunday Morning Deacon" or "a Good Man", but theres something stirring inside that no one knows. Have you ever heard of the song, "Dancy's Dream" by Restless Heart? This song bounces off that idea. He is torn between one world of being what many ascribe him to be...and the other that follows 'the scent of a woman". 

There are references to "A place down on the south end of town". I used this as a means to describe his home where "he bows his head to pray". Maybe to ask for forgiveness? Maybe to ask for a way to now follow through with where his "Mind has gone astray".  In the end, he makes a choice and he is torn over it but would "rather be called a sinner" by many "than live an outright lie".

I have loved telling stories on this album and this one is the one that doesnt necessarily end on a good note but one of uncertainty.  I hope you enjoy this. We tried to make this a dirty, raw. nasty, in your face kind of country rock tune.

Jonathan Laird is playing the dobro like a boss, and you can hear Corbin lighting up the harmonica with every cool plug in we could dirty it up with.

*Cool fact. No animals were harmed in the making of this song.

Purchase this song to add to your library here Call Him a Sinner

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