Loida Liuzzi



Abby Ahmad, "Curriculum"

I recently came across a very talented young songstress named Abby Ahmad,
her CD is "Curriculum".
Abby Ahmad, CD "Curriculum"
...First things first, this is a beautifully packaged CD, one of the best I've seen. A great cover shot, complete lyrics, and the insert contains even more wonderful photos of Miss Ahmad in various New York City locations, and one of her as a child. The photos were the work of Erica Simone.

Reading through Abby's facebook, I see her #1 influence is Dylan. I go further, Dylan tweeted me a few months ago when I did a feature for his 70th birthday, it said "we are on the same page Bro"...well Abby has jumped on the same page as Mr. Dylan, and I've never said that of anyone before.

I'll stick my neck out here and say Abby's tune, "Landing Gear" is as good as any protest song, or political critique or as prolific a statement that has ever been put to music!
Written in 2005, it fits in my top three with Dylan's "The Times They Are a-changin" and Barry Mcguire's
"Eve of Destruction".

This composition could very well be the theme of the "Occupy Wall Street, 1%" protesters. It tells of all the division in our Nation today.

"Everyone's now at attention, since a nation's been derailed...Divided we stand, United we failed"

"So I brace myself for the breakdown, With wings barely intact, Desperately decoding candor,
Weeding out the fiction from the fact"

This is how Abby wrote "Landing Gear"...
Abby... "Landing Gear was written in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I had just moved to NYC a week before and was exploring parallels between our uncertainty as a nation at the time and my uncertainty being a NEW New Yorker seeking my individual and musical identity. It was a scarily transitional time both personally and politically."


It took me a couple of days to listen to the rest of the CD, I was captivated by "Landing Gear".
Not only the lyrics but the crescendo of the melodic line that makes you "feel" the impending turmoil, of which Abby speaks. What a great commentary this tune is.

"Habit" is a cut that speaks of the "habits" of passion we can sometimes fall into.
"I want you when I'm hungry, but I crave you when I'm full"...
"You're two chocolate bars and a cigarette away from being lethal"

"Lost On Me"...Abby slows it to a ballad, but the lyrics are just as powerful...
"I cannot stand here, Awaiting the day...That your actions match the words you say"

Ten original tunes on the CD, all are wonderfully done.
....take away the melodies that match each composition, and Abby's powerful voice that leads you to the meaning of the lyrical content, and you have what you have with Dylan tunes...insightful social commentary, and prolific prose!


I asked Abby the two questions I ask everyone when I write about them...

1. If you were leaving the planet and could only take one album with you which would you take?
Abby... What an excruciating scenario! My tastes are so eclectic, the thought of narrowing it down to 1 album seems impossible. I suppose it would come down to a standoff between Nina Simone's "The Blues" and Led Zeppelin "III". Both have had significant longevity/relevance in my life and musicianship. Patty Griffin's "Living With Ghosts" would be up there too...

2. If you could perform with anyone who would you choose?
Abby... If I could perform with anyone currently alive, I think I'd choose Thom Yorke. His magnetism and presence are inimitable. Deceased: John Lennon or Howlin' Wolf.

               .......Welcome to New York, Abby!!


....you can catch Abby at:  
River Street Cafe, Wilkes/Barre Pa.  Oct 28th, 8 PM
Rockwood Music Hall, NYC, Nov 9th, 11:30 PM

get the CD...http://abbyahmad.bandcamp.com/ 

by Pete Carma, follow Pete....www.twitter.com/petecarma