Abraham Alexander: The Bitter End 2023

Abraham Alexander and bandmates (photo by Gus Philippas for WFUV)
by Kara Manning | 09/11/2023 | 12:01am

Abraham Alexander and bandmates (photo by Gus Philippas for WFUV)

Abraham Alexander's SEA/SONS is one of the most stirring album debuts of 2023. From the sunrise prayer of "Xavier," dedicated to Alexander's late brother, to the final vesper of "Amen," Abraham's beautiful, brave album travels a road of grief, fortitude, forgiveness, and inner spiritual light. His childhood and youth was fraught with trauma, including the tragic death of his mother, who was killed by a drunk driver, his brother's murder, and the fracturing of his birth family.

But there's been sunlight too—Alexander's supportive, adoptive parents, his friendship with mentor Leon Bridges, and encouragement from Mavis Staples and Gary Clark Jr., both of whom appear on SEA/SONS. Even a soccer injury was fortuitous; although far from a good experience, that setback actually led Abraham, as he healed, to teach himself how to play guitar.

His set at The Bitter End for FUV Live on this sultry July evening was as riveting as his backstory. Abraham thoughtfully discussed the personal roots of each song he played, from the eerily prescient words of his mother ("Today") to "Déjà Vu," a song inspired by the late Kalief Browder, a teenager wrongfully imprisoned for three years on Rikers Island with no trial, for a crime he didn't commit.

Accompanied by his bandmates — keyboardist Jordache Grant, drummer James "Slim" Dunn, and John Maestro Ayiam and Taylor Nicks on backing vocals—  Alexander and his band's impassioned set for our FUV Live audience of Marquee Members received a rousing standing ovation — and you might find yourself on your feet and applauding too. Listen to Abraham Alexander in concert in the player above and check out videos and photos below.

A special thanks to Dualtone Records and Ten Atoms Management.

Set List:

  • Knee Deep
  • Tears Run Dry
  • Déjà Vu
  • Heart of Gold
  • Blood Under The Bridge
  • Today
  • Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover)
  • Stay
  • Xavier

[Recorded 7/31/23; Engineered by Jim O'Hara and produced by Meghan Offtermatt]



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