Snapshots of Macon’s Bragg Jam through the years
Abby Owens is a south Florida native with ties to Middle Georgia and has been writing and singing her own music for more than 20 years.
She has been bringing her Americana music to Bragg Jam for more than a decade and will be back again on July 27.
As part of The Telegraph’s series highlighting some of the artists coming to the event, we sat down with Owens to get to know her better.
Editor’s note: Some responses have been edited for brevity.
What got you into music?
I’ve been playing live shows and playing guitar for over 20 years ... just kind of born musical. It was something I always did. As I got older, it kind of morphed into something I do for a living. I got lucky I guess.
Where are you from?
I am from South Florida. I am from Indiantown, Florida, originally. I lived in Macon for eight or nine years. Then I moved back home in 2013. I still consider Macon one of my homes for sure.
What is it like for you to come back to Macon and play at Bragg Jam?
I don’t get to play in Macon very often. Most years since I’ve moved away, it has been the only show that I do in Macon. It is important to me ... because I have some friendships with the Bragg Family. I have played Bragg Jam almost every year since I started. ... It is sentimental for me to get to come back and see all my friends and to be a part of something special in the music community there.
What makes Macon and Bragg Jam special for an artist?
There is something in the water in Macon regarding music. It is that small-town feel that rallies behind all those musical successes. Any new music that comes through Macon is supported. I think there is something so special about a huge concert crawl where so many bands are in such a small area. What makes Bragg Jam specifically special from an artist standpoint (is) when I come to play that festival, I meet so many new musicians and I network with so many new faces.
What can someone expect when they come to your show?
It has changed over the years. I guess I would be lumped into Americana these days. Some write-ups about my music is that it is more acoustic eclectic Americana with a funky vibe. It is singer-songwriter stuff that I have written. It is definitely different. It is not straight country and it is not straight Americana.
What is it like to perform the music you write?
It is certainly that has boosted my ego over the years to get to play my own music, and people actually pay me for it. I am living the dream.
What were some of your musical influences?
I listen to a lot of soul music, but I also adore Bonnie Raitt and I listen to a lot of Neko Case. It is a blend, so maybe some Sam Cooke, obviously Otis Redding, and some solid gold country stuff. I listen to a lot of Marty Robbins. It is all over the board as far as genre is concerned. I listen to hip-hop in the car all the time. My first album was more Kathleen Edwards. The second one was more stark — it was produced by Jason Isbell, so it was more of that Americana.
What are some songs that people should check out before they come to your show?
I would suggest going on any of my social media pages and listening to any of my live feeds. It has been a while since I have put out an album. It has been over 10 years. So my music has changed so much since then. It is almost a poor representation of what I do now.
Why should people come out to Bragg Jam?
I don’t know of any other city that provides such an eclectic vibe of music in more ways than one. You are getting an really intense music experience. You are going to meet a lot of new friends. There isn’t a bad show that you will see.