Abby the Spoon Lady alights upon White Horse
The life story of Abby the Spoon Lady reads like something out of America’s fabled folk mythology. Riding the rails and hitchhiking across the country as a young woman, Abby picked up songs and stories along the hobo road and learned to play the spoons as way of earning some money.
Discovering that she had a rare talent for the rhythmic utensils and a knack for drawing and holding an audience, she traveled throughout the 48 contiguous states, busking wherever an opportunity presented itself. Those years of experience have opened doors to recording, radio commentary and the occasional indoor gig, such as her return engagement with the Fly By Night Rounders at White Horse Black Mountain on Saturday, Aug. 26.
The world of full-time, professional virtuoso spoon players is not a large one, and Abby the Spoon Lady (born Abby Roach) estimates she may be one of maybe five people in the world doing what she does.
With the Fly By Night Rounders she specializes in American music from the 1920s, including blues, jug band and old-time tunes. In Chris Rodriguez (guitar, vocals, harmonica, foot percussion) she’s found a musical foil for her journey through vintage Americana, creating a memorable aural and visual experience with the flash of lightning fast spoons and a deep feeling for the music. Vaden Landers fills out the trio version of the Rounders on banjo and vocals.
Abby moved to Asheville in 2013 and found its downtown ambiance to be a good fit for her brand of busking. Having played on the streets of many cities, she considers Asheville a gem, and the city feels the same way about her. In the recently released MountainX Best of WNC Awards, the number one spot in the Favorite Busker/Street Group category went to Abby, while the Fly By Night Rounders took the second position.
White Horse Black Mountain regular tops polls in several categories of the same survey, so the artist and the venue complement each other nicely.
Who: Abby the Spoon Lady and the Fly By Night Rounders
When: 8 p.m. Aug. 26
Where: White Horse Black Mountain
Cost: $12 advance, $15 door