Abner Jay: Last Ole Ministrel Man

Last night, I listened to Mississippi Records’s latest Abner Jay release, Last Ole Ministrel Man, a lovingly packaged 10”, three songs on each side, rawer than winter in New York City.

I listened over and over while reading Jack Teague’s wonderful liner notes, telling his story of how he got to know Abner Jay, how he got scolded by Abner Jay, how he got to mow the man’s lawn one hot summer day, how he got to rub lotion on the man’s dry legs when the man was finally confined to a hospital bed, getting ready to leave this world.

I just kept flipping the record over and over until I had finished reading through the entire 15 pages of notes and had tired of staring at the brilliant photographs, each one trying to contain a little bit of the man named Abner Jay, the man whose middle name was The Blues.

When I was done thinking and staring, and when the record had come to another end, I closed the book and turned off the hi-fi. Then I finished my glass of wine, went to bed, and waited for the snow to fall.

Ric36012's picture

Hi Stephen,

I sent an email to you a while back and never got a response.

Maybe that was intentional! If you don't mind answering a few
questions what email is best to contact you. I sent it to the one
on this site but I think it was for event planning or something.

I really enjoy the writing.


Stephen Mejias's picture
Oh! I think I know which e-mail you're talking about. The e-mail address you used is correct. Everyone can reach me at stephen.mejias@sorc.com.

I'm sorry that I haven't responded yet. Your e-mail was great, with lots of very good questions. I appreciate it. It's just that I've received a lot of e-mail lately, and I'm having a hard time responding to them all -- especially now, while working on "Recommended Components." I have, however, flagged your e-mail (and all the others that I have yet to answer), and I'll be working my way through them. Sorry about the delay.

Thanks for your kind comments.

michaelavorgna's picture

lovingly packaged.

Another in a long line from Mississippi Records (I almost wish they'd slow down so my budget could catch up).

MatthewSTL's picture

Hey Stephen,

Thanks for letting us know about this new Abner Jay record! I need to track down a copy of this immediately.

I wish it wasn't so hard sometimes to know when they've released new records. Our Saint Louis record stores are awesome, but not entirely up to speed with the Mississippi releases.

rvance's picture

Try T-Model Ford's "Don't Get Out Talkin' It" 10" EP from Fat Possum Records. It's a little lo-fi slice of blues history.

BTW, your R2D4 write-up of "For The Ghosts Within" was superb! I quote: "Listen, for instance, as Wyatt's voice rises with the violins and clarinet, holding on to his words...as if they were the tail ends of dreams, until he no longer can and lets them fall...as if each syllable were a step back down to earth."

Friggin' beautiful.

nealpressley's picture

This photo is copyrighted by me, Neal Pressley, 1993