We've written about him before: Austin, Texas recording artist and acclaimed singer-songwriter John Calvin Abney is set to release his sixth album Tourist on Aug. 5 via Black Mesa Records. Instead of hunkering down in a studio, Abney recorded the tracks on Tourist remotely from the hotel rooms and spare rooms of friends' homes that he stopped in during his long journey. Longtime friend and creative collaborator John Moreland added his own contributions to the tracks from afar, adding a distinct flavor and multifarious sensibility that brings to mind the shared influence of someone like JJ Cale: weaving drum machines, samplers, and synthesizers into the songs with a flair for mid-tempo groove and introspective, lost-poet lyricism. "Call Me Achilles" comes together under the banner of a personal retrospective, capturing the moment of moving on from a relationship that has dwindled away as it draws a parallel to the wartime exploits and romantic embroilment of a Greek legend.
Tourist was shaped by the sights and sounds of the redwood forests and cold coasts of Northern California where John Calvin Abney spent his time during a harrowing fire season—idling in the countryside, accompanied by Steinbeck’s rich travel memoir Travels With Charley and a collection of Hemingway short stories, both given to him by friends in Oklahoma. Penned on Christmas Day of 2020 in Tulsa, "Call Me Achilles" finds Abney reflecting on past weaknesses while making plans for a fresh start. Accompanied by a stunning music video shot entirely in black and white, this modified blues progression taps into the musical legacy of T. Rex, delivering an instant classic at the intersection of blues, glam rock, and psychedelic folk.