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credit: Vincent Tseng
X Miss Americas is a mix of blues,
country and rock-n-roll. Ab can be found singing, sliding
and jiving with X Miss America's thoughout the Southeast.
Driven by passion, country singer/songwriter Ab the Flagman’s
rootsy, yet velvety, baritone twang takes listeners on an
emotional roller coaster ride. A multitalented artist, Ab
expresses feelings through words and music like no other.
Yet his haunting, longing tones are reminiscent of the old
style southern Memphis greats -- with an occasional smattering
of Native American Indian influence.
Ab’s writing style, strongly inspired by country music
from the 1950s-70s, transports one on a cross-country ride
– from the lonely familiarity of unrequited love to
a tongue-in cheek look at the journey from domestic bliss
to misery – from hanging out in honky-tonks to experiencing
the freedom of the open road. The emotions of American people
– of all people -- are the songs of Ab the Flagman.
Like many vocalists, the Moneagle, Tennessee native (born
in 1964 as Roger Lee Ivens) began singing at his community
Baptist church when only six years old. At the age of fourteen,
he began writing music and playing guitar.Taking inspiration
from his surroundings, the media and within his own heart,
Ab considers songwriting a constructive way to channel ideas
and reactions to the world around him. The seeds Ab planted
as a musician has produced regional success through the
release of two prior CD’s: X-Miss Americas (Second
Heaven Records, 2000) and Freedom and Justice (Flagman Records/Southern
Tracks Records, 2002).
A tenured live entertainer, Ab the Flagman’s energetic,
soul felt live performances include billings with acts such
as the Indigo Girls, Widespread Panic and Blackfoot. Although
his songs are country Americana, Ab the Flagman’s
music crosses over aptly to appreciative audiences of multiple
Ab's artistic success has come with a personal price –
one that could have ruined his career as an artist and musician.
An accident with a table saw severed and partially dismembered
the middle and ring fingers on his left hand. Instead of
giving up playing guitar in the face of this catastrophe,
he re-learned his craft. To do so necessitated he revise
his methodology -- the results of which became a signature
slide playing sound. Ironically, what initially appeared
a setback, proved a blessing musically.
X Miss Americas is an eclectic mix of Americana. With fellow
friends and musicians, Ab has always enjoyed entertaining
and hopes to continue performing for many years to come.