KSU alumnus, musician makes tour stop in Kent

April Samuelson

When guitarist Abe Quigley practiced growing up, it was usually in front of his cat.

“Cats aren’t really good audience members,” Quigley said. “They kind of leave in the middle and you don’t know why.”

Quigley played last night in the Kent Presbyterian church to an audience of about 30. Quigley, a 1998 Kent State graduate in General Studies, is currently performing across the country on a 55 stop national tour.

The Rev. Aaron Meadows said Quigley stopped by because he and Meadows knew each other growing up.

“His dad was a young life coordinator,” Meadows said. “I met him when I was 14, so I knew Abe through high school and some of college. We played guitar together, but he was always better.”

Quigley performed songs about love, growing up, and a lullaby. Audience members described Quigley’s sound as a cross between folk and jazz music.

“He’s got rhythm,” senior aeronautics major Philip Oskey said. “It’s not very often you see an acoustic with a wah peddle, and the transposition is unique. It’s like two guitars. It’s nice how he can play over himself.”

In addition to his own songs, Quigley performed the theme song from Sesame Street. He invited Kay Lee, the secretary for Kent Presbyterian, to accompany him on instrument he described as an “egg shaker.”

“It’s very similar to what I do for praise team, to provide some basic percussion,” Lee said. “It put pressure on me because he’s a pro.”

Lee said she wanted to hear Quigley play because she knew his father from the church.

“He had a very unique songs and his guitar playing was very excellent,” she said.

Quigley told the audience about aggravating his parents when he was learning the guitar growing up. He said one of the greatest moments in young guitarist’s life is when the perfection of one chord.

“One day you start playing the E or the G chord, and it is the prettiest thing you’ve ever heard and you start really making people crazy,” he said.

Quigley said he knew he loved the guitar because after he hit this step he started writing sappy high school love songs and staying up to 2 or 3 a.m. playing and missing work the next day.

Quigley moved from Ohio to Chicago, now living in Los Angeles. He said when he moved from Ohio to Chicago, he got lost in the lights. In a song called “Blinded” about living in Chicago, Quigley added in the lyrics from Amazing Grace. He said he added in the lyrics because he adjusts his music for the venue he’s playing.

“Sometimes I throw those lyrics in at the end,” Quigley said. “Sometimes I play in a bar, sometimes in a coffee shop. The music always changes. If I’m in a bar, I can try to rip the strings off the guitar. If I’m in a coffee shop, I play really quiet.”

Quigley said though he loves visiting Ohio when he’s on the road and seeing his old family and friends, he loves touring.

“It’s a great way to see the country,” Quigley said. “I see so many people on the road. Music takes you places you would never otherwise go to.”

To hear Abe Quigley’s music, visit http://www.abequigley.com.

Contact religion reporter April Samuelson at [email protected]