Rod Abernethy’s Upcoming Release
‘Normal Isn’t Normal Anymore’
Out February 5, 2021
By Rob Dickens
He’s a gifted songwriter alright.
Don’t just take my word for it. Rod Abernethy is one of not many who has both BAFTA and American Songwriter’s Bob Dylan Songwriting Contest awards on their CV.
Throw into the mix his clarion vocals, masterly guitar playing and an award-winning composer for film, TV and video games, and you have pretty much the complete creative and artistic package on show for Abernethy’s new album Normal Isn’t Normal Anymore (available February 5, 2021).
With Grammy-nominated producer Neilson Hubbard at the helm, Normal Isn’t Normal Anymore was hatched on Abernethy’s last year of touring. In one of the lead tracks “Another Year,” Abernethy tells it like it is – real-life stories of everyday people, the personal challenges they face, and how we all need help from each other to get through those challenges. “With the passing of both my parents in recent years, I’ve gotten to know the importance of having friends and family around you,” says Abernethy. “To put it simply, on the streets we may look different but alone we all look the same.”
“Birds In The Chimney” harks back to when Abernethy discovered a nest of baby birds above his fireplace. “I looked up the chimney with a flashlight and saw a nest about halfway up. About two weeks later a choir of chirping happening all the sudden, like a birdie rock festival,” Abernethy recalls. “This went on for 2 weeks. Then all the sudden they were gone…”
“My Father Was A Quiet Man” is a deeply personal song, spurred on by a dream about his old man, which has a beautiful simplicity. “About two years ago around the holidays, I had a dream that my dad called me on the kitchen phone in my childhood house. It was a wall hanging phone with the long coiled cord. My dad was talking a lot, like a teenager…funny thing was he never really talked that much in real life,” says Abernethy. “We had a great talk on the phone, he asked me how I was doing and how the family was getting along. It was so unlike him, but I’ll never forget the call.”
This dream stirred up deep memories of his father – his booming voice in church, buying Abernethy his first guitar, and being the strength his family needed when Abernethy’s brother passed away.
Corporate greed features in “When Tobacco Was King” and the title track with its observations about modern life are two more vivid examples of the strength of Abernethy’s wordsmith skills. But it’s not all serious folks – there’s two lively, intricate guitar instrumentals (“Whiskey & Pie” and “Over The Fence”), the hopeful “Changing” (John Mayer) and “Just Get In The Car”, and the likable cover of Dylan’s “Oxford Town” as the closer.
Contributors and collaborators include Susan Cattaneo who co-wrote two of the songs, plus some of Nashville’s finest players including Will Kimbrough (guitars, mandolin), Michael Rinne (bass), Hubbard (drums, percussion), Dan Mitchell (piano) and David Henry (cello).
Normal Isn’t Normal Anymore proves that an abnormally good singer and guitarist can do just about anything.
Normal Isn’t Normal Anymore Track Listing:
1. Just Around The Corner
2. It’s Always Something
3. Whiskey & Pie
4. My Father Was A Quiet Man
5. Birds In The Chimney
6. When Tobacco Was King
7. Normal Isn’t Normal Anymore
9. Just Get In The Car
10. Another Year
11. Over The Fence
12. Oxford Town
Rod Abernethy is the 2019 Winner of American Songwriter‘s Bob Dylan Song Contest. His last album The Man I’m Supposed To Be reached the top 10 in 2018 on the Folk DJ Chart and he’s performed as a featured artist at folk conferences and clubs nationwide including Folk Stage in Chicago and Club Passim in Cambridge, MA.
Abernethy has been a major force in the North Carolina music scene for decades, having played in North Carolina 80’s bands Arrogance and Glass Moon and recorded albums for major labels Warner Bros, MCA, and Elektra Records.
As a composer, he has scored and produced music for over 80 video games including the Electronic Art’s blockbuster hit Dead Space which won a BAFTA Award in 2009 for Best Original Score, and Tolkien’s The Hobbit for Vivendi Universal which won Video Game Soundtrack Of The Year in 2003. Rod is also an adjunct professor of music composition at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem, NC, and supported an active touring schedule until the recent COVID-19 quarantine.
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Rod Abernethy’s Upcoming Release